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    Czech Republic Economy 1998

      Economy - overview Political and financial crises in 1997 shattered the Czech Republic's image as one of the most stable and prosperous of post-Communist states. Delays in enterprise restructuring and failure to develop a well-functioning capital market played major roles in Czech economic troubles, which culminated in a currency crisis in May. The currency was forced out of its fluctuation band as investors worried that the current account deficit, which reached about 8% of GDP in 1996, would become unsustainable. After expending $3 billion in vain to support the currency, the central bank let it float. The growing current account imbalance reflected a surge in domestic demand and poor export performance, as wage increases outpaced productivity. The government was forced to introduce two austerity packages later in the spring which cut government spending by 2.5% of GDP. A tough 1998 budget continues the painful medicine. These problems were compounded in the summer of 1997 by unprecedented flooding which inundated much of the eastern part of the country. Czech difficulties in 1997 contrast with earlier achievements of strong GDP growth, a balanced budget, and inflation and unemployment that were among the lowest in the region. The Czech economy's transition problems continue to be too much direct and indirect government influence on the privatized economy, the sometimes ineffective management of privatized firms, and a shortage of experienced financial analysts for the banking system. Prague forecasts a balanced budget, 2.2% GDP growth, 5.2% unemployment, and 10% inflation for 1998.

      GDP purchasing power parity - $111.9 billion (1997 est.)

      GDP - real growth rate 0.7% (1997 est.)

      GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $10,800 (1997 est.)

      GDP - composition by sector
      agriculture: 5%
      industry: 40.6%
      services: 54.4% (1996)

      Inflation rate - consumer price index 10% (1997)

      Labor force
      total: 5.124 million (1997)
      by occupation: industry 33.1%, agriculture 6.9%, construction 9.1%, transport and communications 7.2%, services 43.7% (1994)

      Unemployment rate 5% (1997 est.)

      revenues: $14.2 billion
      expenditures: $14.6 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1997)

      Industries fuels, ferrous metallurgy, machinery and equipment, coal, motor vehicles, glass, armaments

      Industrial production growth rate 6.9% (1996)

      Electricity - capacity 13.85 million kW (1994)

      Electricity - production 53.285 billion kWh (1995)

      Electricity - consumption per capita 5,069 kWh (1995)

      Agriculture - products grains, potatoes, sugar beets, hops, fruit; pigs, cattle, poultry; forest products

      total value: $21.7 billion (f.o.b., 1996)
      commodities: machinery and equipment 32.7%, manufactured goods 28.8%, raw materials and fuel 9.2%, food 4.1% (1996)
      partners: EU 60.9%, CEFTA 21.4%, Slovakia 13.9%, EFTA 1.7% (1996)

      total value: $27.7 billion (f.o.b., 1996)
      commodities: machinery and equipment 38.2%, manufactured goods 19.3%, raw materials and fuels 12.4%, and food 5.6% (1996)
      partners: EU 61.1%, CEFTA 16.3%, Slovakia 11.8%, EFTA 2.2% (1996)

      Debt - external $20.7 billion (1996)

      Economic aid $NA

      Currency 1 koruna (Kc) = 100 haleru

      Exchange rates koruny (Kcs) per US$1 - 35.357 (January 1998), 31.698 (1997), 27.145 (1996), 26.541 (1995), 28.785 (1994), 29.153 (1993)
      note: values before 1993 reflect Czechoslovak exchange rates

      Fiscal year calendar year

      NOTE: The information regarding Czech Republic on this page is re-published from the 1998 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Czech Republic Economy 1998 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Czech Republic Economy 1998 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 21-Dec-01
    Copyright © 2001 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)