10th January 2017

2017 Outlook - a summary, various sources (updated)

Global prospects:

According to the United Nations (DESA) 2017-2018 outlook, global economic prospects remain subject to significant uncertainties and downside risks, with the potential to obstruct the modest increase in growth that is currently forecast for 2017-2018. Many of these risks are emanating from developed countries and include: the  potential side-effects of negative interest rates and other unconventional monetary policies; the pace and sequence of adjustments in the US monetary policy stance; uncertainties associated with the decision by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to leave the European Union, or "Brexit"; rising trade protectionism as well as a broader tendency to shift away from closer international integration, in terms of trade, capital flows and migration; and the outcome of elections in the United States as well as a number of European countries, including Germany and France, and their potential impact on trade and other policy stances 

Click here to read the predictions publiched by the World Economic Forum.

In order to restore the global economy to a healthy growth trajectory, policy measures need to target a wide range of objectives, including: improving education; investing in worker training; promoting capital investment, including in infrastructure as well as areas such as social protection; increasing spending on research and development; and reforming regulations. For the most part, developed economies continue to rely almost exclusively on monetary policy to support their policy objectives for growth and employment... it is clear that monetary policy alone is not sufficient to achieve all policy objectives, which will require greater use of fiscal policy, as well as reforms in financial, goods and labour markets.

In the outlook period, the EU-11 (CEE region) is expected to see economic growth at about 3 per cent in the medium term. The full impact of the “Brexit” on the region has yet to be assessed, but the economies are likely to be affected by more modest EU funding; the weaker pound already weighs on the value of remittances they receive. The possible return of migrant workers from the UK may increase labor market tensions in a number of countries, but could also alleviate the serious demographic pressure in the Baltic States and emerging labor shortages in parts of Eastern Europe and facilitate business start-ups.

The World Bank adds that in an environment of weak growth and eroding policy buffers, structural reforms have become even more urgent. There is the critical priority of pursuing growth-enhancing policies to eliminate extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.

Fitch Ratings predicts that economic nationalism and fiscal reflation will dominate 2017 global economic outlook and S&P Global Ratings adds some more details.

CATO Institute predicts that for the foreseeable future, trade agreements and other forms of liberalization will be relegated to the doghouse.

The Conference Board says in its predictions for Europe that Brexit (update on Brexit in Czech here), the uncertainty around the EU, or a half-dozen major elections this year in Europe are among critical factors for the 2017 Outlook. Political and policy uncertainty stifles the investment that is needed for growth. Businesses would do well to foster the EU and the single market, to leverage their diverse workforces, and to invest in digital technology.

BBC offers expert economic predictions for 2017 related to the EU, U.S., Brexit or China.  Al-Jazeera offers predictions for U.S.-China relationship, OPEC, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf economy.  

View also predictions by the IMF, OECD , and Businesseurope published earlier in autumn 2016. 


The Czech Republic

According to Komerční banka, a preliminary estimate points to 0.8% qoq growth in the final quarter of 2016, which would lift the advance for the whole year 2016 to 2.5%. In 4Q16, the bank expects an increase in the Czech external trade balance. This is suggested by sound dynamics in the industrial sector, solid forward-looking indicators and especially the strong performance of the German economy, which should, according to SG economists, print very good results (According to the Oxford Economics think-tank, solid numbers for industrial production and trade in Germany confirm that Europe’s locomotive ended 2016 on a strong footing.). The good performance will spill over into 2017, as well. This year, the Czech economy should mildly accelerate and growth should reach 2.7%. More.

Also, according to the Czech National Bank Governor Jiří Rusnok, the bank’s prognosis for 2017 predicts concurrence of internal and external balances. Nominal wages should rise by 5 percent, real wages by 3 percent; the unemployment rate should linger around 4 percent. There are not many reasons to assume that the Czech currency after exit (from the regime of bank''s commitment to intervene on the foreign exchange market if needed to weaken the koruna against the euro so that the exchange rate of the koruna is kept close to CZK 27 to the euro.} would strengthen extremely (an interview in Czech here, more details in English here).  


In EY’s 15th Global Capital Confidence Barometer, Czech executives express cautious optimism about the M&A market as they adjust their expectations about local market growth. Despite the challenges of a slowdown in global trade flows, as well as political and economic uncertainty in the European Union, 41% of Czech companies indicate that they will actively pursue deals in the next 12 months. For 87% of Czech executives, the global economy is expected to stay at the current level or improve. 

In its Banking and Securities Outlook 2017 Deloitte predicts that banks and capital markets firms are expected to deepen their engagement with the fintech ecosystem as the trend towards digitization accelerates.

Read also UniCredit Bank's 2017 Macro & Markets Outlook. Czech investment volume could exceed EUR 3 bln. boundary in 2017, says CBRE. The industrial & logistics market is expected to continue to perform well and both 2016 and 2017 are on the way to becoming record-breaking years in terms of take-up. Positive market sentiment continues in the retail sector as well. Favourable labour market conditions support high consumer confidence. Look also at JLL Prague Office Property Market Overview. Completion of the D8 highway to Dresden at the end of 2016 will further enhance interest for Ústí nad Labem region. Both Ústí nad Labem and Karlovarský regions will be target of investors in 2017 as being located to the German border with improved infrastructure and with available labour force, JLL predicts

According to KPMG‘s Global Automotive Executive Survey 2017, 82% of CEOs in the automotive industry agree that a Silicon Valley company will launch a car in the next 4 years. The majority of executives expect the global share of vehicles sold in China to reach 40% by 2030. 12% agree that India will get anywhere close to China in terms of vehicles sold by 2030. 84% agree that data is the fuel for the future business model. Details in Czech. Also, in 2016, the number of new cars registered in the Czech Republic reached record high, almost 260,000, and it is expected to rise by 7-12% in 2017, PwC predicts

More than 80% of companies in the Czech Republic plan to allocate at least the same amount of funds for research and development as in the previous year, says Deloitte’s Tax and Grant support of R&D activities survey published earlier in autumn 2016 (in Czech).

PwC undertook their 19th Global CEO Survey that, besides CEOs, included a parallel survey with over 200 young leaders from AIESEC, an international student organisation committed to developing the leadership potential of young people, and learned that 1. Tomorrow’s leaders are optimists but realists. They look for opportunity, but are not naïve about risk.2. Tomorrow’s leaders care about wider social and environmental issues and understand how stakeholder expectations are changing. 3. Tomorrow’s leaders want to work for companies that have similar values to their own, and put more importance on the nature of their work than what they are paid. 4. Tomorrow’s leaders believe that emotional qualities are as important in leaders as intellectual capabilities.

Look also at some ideas for 2017 in the fields of Social Media and Translation and localization (in Czech and English

Euractiv.cz portal summarizes outlook for the EU activities in the areas of Digital Economy, Social Policy and Employment, Migration and Justice, Energy, Foreign Policy (in Czech). Among the main issues to be discussed are: Digital Single Market implementation, digital skills, ePrivacy, copyright reform, electronic communications regulation, fight against hate speech, youth unemployment, skills, posted workers, asylum system reform, smart border package, circular economy, Nord Stream 2, gas pipeline. new rules for electricity market, energy efficiency, nuclear power plants, visa-free regime for Ukraine and Georgia.





Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic