Czech National Bank – CNB headquarters in Prague.
Prague – The current account of the balance of payments, which is a summary of all economic transactions of the Czech economy with foreign countries, ended last year with a record deficit of 380.1 billion crowns. This follows from preliminary data published by the Czech National Bank (ČNB). The year before last, the deficit amounted to 51.1 billion crowns, when the current account of the balance of payments recorded a deficit for the first time since 2013. The previous record deficit was from 2007 with 177.1 billion crowns.
In the individual months of last year, the current account of the balance of payments ended in surplus only in January, in other months it was already in deficit. The highest deficit was recorded in August, namely 101.1 billion crowns. In December, according to data published today, it ended in a deficit of 7.8 billion crowns, reduced from November's 39.3 billion crowns.
“The negative balance of primary income contributed most significantly not only to the current account deficit for December, but also for the whole year. Within it, the outflow of dividends from direct foreign investments was noticeable,” pointed out Jaromír Gec from Komerční banka.
According to him, last year in the current account deficit was also reflected by trade in goods, which did not reach the surpluses that in the past more than compensated for the negative balance of primary incomes. “The foreign trade deficit was partly due to problems in the supply chains that weakened exports and also the import of expensive energy. However, both of these negative factors faded visibly and faster than expected at the end of last year, which resulted in a surplus in the balance of goods in December,” he said.
In the past, the current account of the balance of payments was in deficit between 1994 and 2013. In 2014, a surplus of 7.9 billion crowns was recorded, in 2020 the surplus reached a record 113.7 billion crowns.
CNB data on the balance of payments are preliminary. Further clarification can be expected with the quarterly data that the central bank will publish on March 16.