Czech economy at the beginning of 1997
Martin Cihak (),
Tomas Holub () and
Prague Economic Papers, 1997, vol. 1997, issue 2
Czech GDP growth in 1996 failed to reach the rates expected by most domestic and foreign experts and institutions. Compared to initial forecasts which ranged between 5.0 and 5.5 %, the actual growth of real GDP fell short by roughly 1 percentage point: we expect the final GDP growth figure to be within 4.1 - 4.4 %. Private consumption and fixed investment were the main factors of GDP growth in 1996. A gap persisted between domestic supply and domestic demand; the gap tended to be relatively stable and was covered by a fast increase of imports of goods and services. The slowdown of GDP growth was caused by several factors, prominent among them are: a sizeable slowdown of export; lack of ability to launch a more dynamic export effort; nominal appreciation of the Czech currency against both the DEM and the USD; a decelerating effect of the measures taken by the Czech National Bank in mid 1996, when monetary policy turned from neutral to restrictive.
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