Czech industrial output sinks by 1.2% in 2012

Industrial output in the recession-hit Czech Republic fell by 1.2 percent in 2012 on an annual comparison, official data showed on Wednesday.

In December 2012, industrial output adjusted for workdays tumbled by 5.8 percent against the same month of 2011, after a 17.7-percent decline in car production in the country's large auto sector, the Czech Statistical Office said.

The Czech central bank expects the country's economy contracted by 0.9 percent last year and will manage 0.2 growth this year.

But a quick rebound in industrial production is unlikely, said David Marek, an analyst with Prague-based investment bank Patria Finance.

"We are unlikely to see an improvement in the months to come, looking at new contracts whose volume fell by 11.5 percent year-on-year" in 2012, he said.

Marek forecasts a 1.0-percent decline in industrial output for 2013.

The Czech republic boasts car plants of Skoda Auto run by Germany's Volkswagen, South Korea's Hyundai, and TPCA, a joint venture between France's PSA Peugeot Citroen and Japan's Toyota, and which directly account for over a fifth of the EU-nation's total industrial production.

Falling car demand in Europe led to a 1.73 percent drop in their output last year.