The Czech Republic posted an unexpectedly high GDP growth in 2001, fuelled mainly by domestic consumption. The Czech Statistical Office said the nation's GDP increased 3.6 per cent in 2001 over the previous year to 2.1 trillion CZK (or 58 billion USD). It was the biggest jump in the key economic rate since 1996, when GDP rose 4.3 per cent.
The latest increase mirrored a continuing economic turnaround following falling GDP rates in between 1997 and 1999, and an increase of 2.9 per cent in 2000.
The Statistics Office said that last year's growth was helped by a jump in consumer spending including a 14-percent hike in home-maintenance spending and a 39-percent increase in telecommunications spending, mainly mobile-phone related. In addition, business investment in machinery and equipment rose by 10 percent last year.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development had predicted Czech GDP to grow about 3.5 per cent last year, while analysts expected 3.4 per cent.
Last fall, the World Bank said a global economic slowdown that accelerated after the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States would limit GDP growth for all transition countries of Central Europe, including the Czech Republic, to around 2.8 percent. But the impact for the Czech economy, which is closely reliant on trade with neighbouring Germany and other EU countries, was less severe than expected.
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