Survey: Economic optimism on rise amongst Czechs
2022 and the start of 2023 brought a great deal of concern around affordability and inflation for Czechs. But new data from the Czech Statistical Office shows that Czechs are feeling slightly more optimistic about their country’s economic situation, as Jiří Obst, head of its Business Cycle Surveys Unit explained to Radio Prague.
“The greatest increase in confidence about the economy is from consumers. For example, the share of households expecting a worsening of their overall economic situation in the Czech Republic for the next 12 months decreased compared to June. This is positive news.
“The number of households evaluating their current financial situation worsening also decreased over the last 12 months. Similarly to last month, the number of households fearing a worsening of their financial situation in the next 12 months also slightly decreased in July.
“So taken together, these are the positive pieces of information that have primarily caused the growth in confidence in the economy in July.”
Summer is starting to wind down, and this time last year there was a lot of concern over the price of gas and energy for heating. Do consumers have the same amount of concern this year as they did the previous year?
“No, they don’t. This might be surprising, but the concern about the rising of prices and inflation are significantly lower than las year. But this is also mainly because in 2022, consumer confidence in the economy was at an all-time low in the history of our tracking. This was caused by the huge concerns over the geopolitical situation and the war in Ukraine, and also by the unprecedented rise in energy prices.”
Has government policy or the confidence Czechs have in the government played a role in this increase in optimism? We have a new President in office now, has this been a factor in shifting the attitudes?
“I think so, but not directly. In the business and consumer surveys there is no specific question or topic regarding the confidence in the government or in the President.
“But in the consumer survey we have a specific question about the economic situation in the Czech Republic. The question is as follows ‘how do you expect the general economic situation in this country to develop over the next 12 months?’
“Personally, I think through this question, the consumer partially evaluates the government and government action.”