March 17, 2020 / 4:12 PM / 12 days ago

Czech central bank governor: it is clear now there will be economic decline

PRAGUE, March 17 (Reuters) - Czech central bank Governor Jiri Rusnok said on Tuesday that there would be economic decline due to the coronavirus outbreak, presenting a darker outlook than he did after an emergency rate cut on Monday.

“I think today no one doubts that it will not be a zero growth but that it will be a decline,” he said in an interview on Czech television.

The central bank cut its main interest rate by 50 basis points to 1.75% on Monday and said it was ready to act more as needed in a fast-developing situation.

Rusnok said after the cut it was tough to say whether the economic growth would drop to zero or into negative territory. That was before two automakers announced production halts at their Czech plants on Tuesday. (Reporting by Jan Lopatka; Writing by Robert Muller)

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