Living Standards in the Czech Republic Decline, Comparable to Cyprus and Slovenia

Compared to the European average, the living standard in the Czech Republic experienced a slight dip last year. When expressed in purchasing power standards, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per inhabitant decreased by one percentage point to 91 percent of the European Union average. As a result, the Czech Republic is now on par with Cyprus and Slovenia (92 percent) and slightly lagging behind Italy (96 percent). These statistics were released by the Czech Statistical Office (CSO) in the 2023 Statistical Yearbook.

In contrast to most European countries, the performance of the Czech economy has not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels. The Czech economy grew by 2.4 percent last year, which did not reach the level of the EU as a whole, with its growth rate of 3.5 percent. The fastest-growing economy was Ireland, where GDP increased by 12 percent. Estonia had the weakest economic performance, shrinking by 1.3 percent.

Among the countries that joined the EU in 2004, the Czech Republic ranks fourth. Compared to last year, Slovenia and Cyprus have surpassed it. The highest living standard among these countries is in Malta, the only one that exceeded the EU average, reaching 102 percent.

The comparison shows that the Czech Republic is faring the best among the countries of the Visegrad Group (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, and Hungary). In Poland, the GDP per inhabitant in purchasing power standards is at 80 percent of the EU average, in Hungary at 77 percent, and in Slovakia at 68 percent. Among the older member countries, the living standard is lower than in the Czech Republic in Spain (85 percent), Portugal (77 percent), and Greece (68 percent).

Despite the economic slump, the Czech Republic maintained its position with the lowest unemployment rate last year, decreasing by 0.6 percentage points to 2.2 percent. The European average was 6.2 percent. The second-lowest unemployment rate was in Malta, reaching 2.9 percent. In contrast, Spain struggled with the highest unemployment rate, 12.9 percent.

Inflation last year affected all EU countries, and the Czech Republic had the fifth-highest with an average value of 15.1 percent. Prices rose the fastest in Estonia, where annual inflation reached 19.4 percent, while the lowest was in France, at 5.9 percent. The European average was 9.2 percent.