In mid-July, I had the privilege of participating in a discussion on dividends, sector taxes, and, ultimately, economic strategy with some influential and interesting economic policymakers, including Josef Stredula of the Unions, Karel Havlicek of Association of Small Businesses, and Radek Spicar of the Confederation of Industry. Everyone at the table deals with these issues daily, and do not agree on many details. This can sometimes lead to the conclusion that they agree on nothing. That is not true. In such a situation, sometimes it is necessary to widen the angle of the lens and, once you see the wider landscape, you can refocus.
CTP: With an overall market vacancy rate of nearly 3% and the long permitting process—considered to be one of the longest in Europe—getting new projects started is becoming more difficult
The Czech economy continued to grow through 1H 2018, but slightly slower than in 2017 due mainly to tight labour conditions. Unemployent continues downward, nearing 2.0%. The tight labour market, while pushing employers to compete to attract talent through softer means, greater incentives, and higher salaries, has also increased disposable income, positively impacting retail sales and e-commerce. Consequently, this leads to an increasing need for more warehouse space. Specifically, large logistics centres outside larger cities, and also smaller, last-mile and cross dock facilities closer to end users.
With more than 42,000 hotel rooms in total, and more five-star hotels than Vienna and Madrid combined, there are endless MICE opportunities--and if your clients wanted to host a MICE event in a castle, why not? The Czech Republic is home to more than 200 of them. The Czech Tourism Board and the Consulate General of the Czech Republic hosted a Lunch and Learn in Toronto to explain why the destination is quickly becoming a hub for MICE activity.
The first estimate of GDP growth in the second quarter slipped to 2.3% year-on-year (0.5% quarter-on-quarter). A weaker print below 3% was expected due to the base effect so this is no game changer for our 2018 outlook or the central bank's monetary stance.
Czech GDP dynamics have eased. Qoq growth printed only 0.5%. The Czech economy has recorded sluggish growth figures since the second half of last year. For the second quarter, this is visible also in a yoy comparison as dynamics do not include the exceptional growth from 2Q17. Yoy dynamics thus recorded a low 2.3%, clearly showing that the economy lags behind its regional peers. Hungarian GDP increased 4.6% yoy, and Polish GDP added 5.2%. Domestic dynamics correspond more with German growth, which rose 2.0% yoy. To a large extent, capacity constraints are to blame. These are most visible on the labour market. Unfortunately, we do see no notable productivity gains. Without an increase in productivity, the Czech economy cannot aim for stronger dynamics. Productivity so far shows very modest growth despite the solid investment activity of the private sector.
Hotels that have been modernised so far include Pyramida in Prague, the capital city, Horizont in Šumava forest land, and Voroněž in Brno, the Moravian largest city. Hotel Voroněž currently offers the largest capacity in Moravia, the eastern part of the country.
Strategic Directions for Czech Economic Policy
- 1) The home of value-added manufacturing
- 2) Prague-Brno-Ostrava Creative Triangle
- 3) Health Care as an export industry
- 4) Government as a competitive advantage
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