OECD: Slowing Czech economy needs education and infrastructure investments
The OECD has predicted that the Czech economy will slow slightly from last year's 2.9 percent growth to 2.6 percent, with the slowdown expected to continue next year to just 2.5 percent GDP growth. In order to guarantee long-term growth, the OECD is calling upon the Czech government to increase its investments in education as well as into transportation infrastructure. It claims that 55 percent of Czech companies complain that insufficient infrastructure is blocking their growth. It also warned that the lack of labor is turning into a serious hurdle for further growth and that public sector wages should be brought into line with the level of economic growth. In the longer-term, it reports that the country's strong fiscal situation could be endangered by its ageing population. However, the OECD praises the strength of the Czech financial sector, which it describes as profiting from the current growth cycle. It reports that banks are producing strong profits thanks to growing levels of consumer lending and that their reserves are sufficient, while the level of bad debt has fallen in recent years.