CEE ECONOMY-Czech industrial output heads lower in April

June 6 (Reuters) – Czech industrial output lost momentum in
April, easing by 0.8% month-on-month as weak car production and
continued supply constraints weighed on production.

In year-on-year terms, the decline was sharper as output
dropped 3.8% following a revised 1.3% drop in March, with the
statistics office saying a high base a year ago due to the end
of COVID pandemic restrictions was a key factor.

New orders in the month gained more than 3% year-on-year,
although this was mainly due to the rising value of orders and
not volumes, the statistics office said.

Central Europe’s economies started 2022 strongly, helped by
homegrown household demand amid low unemployment and continued
wage growth.

But industry is still facing global supply chain
constraints, and surging energy prices and inflation along with
rising borrowing costs are starting to take some heat off the
consumer boom.

“The April industrial result signals a dampening of the
economy,” Petr Dufek, chief economist at Banka Creditas, said.

“Industry has a challenging period ahead during which
companies will keep on trying to pass growing costs onto

The energy price spike seen on world markets was also
evident in the Czech Republic’s April trade balance, which hit a
deficit of 28.4 billion crowns ($1.23 billion), the biggest gap
in the statistics office’s online records going back to 2005.

($1 = 23.0080 Czech crowns)

(Reporting by Jason Hovet and Robert Muller in Prague; Editing
by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)


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