The infrastructure market has high hopes for Central and Eastern European countries, whose economies are currently experiencing strong economic growth, according to the CMS Infrastructure Index: A New Direction, which this year ranks 40 jurisdictions in order of infrastructure investment attractiveness according to six key criteria. Countries in the CEE region claimed six of the top 20 spots for infrastructure investment attractiveness, with the Czech Republic leading the pack at no 13 in the table. Longstanding government support for infrastructure spending and the highly anticipated programme to modernise its train stations, with €384m allocated to the scheme, has contributed to the Czech Republic’s allure.
OECD Science, Technology and Industry Scoreboard 2017: Centrality of ICT services in the Czech Republic has been increasing
Quantitative skills, ICT skills, numeracy and STEM skolls as well as self-organisation and management and communication skills seem to be especially important in digital-intensive industries, OECD's Science, Technology and Industry Scoreboard 2017 says and shows, among others, digital intensity across sectors and job gains and losses in various industries.
The Czech Statistical Office (CZSO) confirmed its preliminary estimate of domestic GDP growth at 0.5% qoq and 5.0% yoy. The favourable dynamics were mainly thanks to private consumption, which increased 0.9% qoq (+4.4% yoy). Households benefit from a low unemployment rate, which improves its low every month, and sound wage growth. Moreover, consumers remain optimistic as there are no signs that the good times will come to an end anytime soon. This is also mirrored in investment activity. Businesses adjust to growing demand for output amid a stretched labour market, where it is almost impossible to find a suitable work force. Thus, they invest in a way that they do not have to hire too many personnel for their new facilities or they can free up some labour force when renewing existing facilities. Investment has thus remained at a sound level from the second quarter. In yoy terms, investment growth prints at 7.5%. Moreover, it seems there is more unfinished investment as inventory built contributed 1pp to overall GDP growth.
The convergence of the V4 region to western levels of income has been rather unremarkable to date, mostly owing to the lackluster performance of the Czech Republic and Hungary since the global financial crisis. By contrast, Poland and Slovakia are emerging as regional convergence champions. Despite these interesting differences, the overall results – also manifested in low wage levels – are a disappointment, authors of the study The Shape of Central Europe published by the Aspen Institute Central Europe says.
The Independent/Business Insider: 27 cities around the world where expats are happy, rents are affordable, and jobs are plentiful
InterNations recently released its 2017 list of the best cities for living and working abroad. Prague came second.
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
In Policy Pipeline policy developments in the Czech Republic and abroad are monitored to bring better understanding of current topics and trends.