Over 50 pct of industrial firms expect 20 pct drop in orders-poll

Over 50 percent of industrial companies in Czechia expect a more than 20 percent drop in orders in March and April because of measures the government has taken in relation to the coronavirus epidemic, according to a survey of the Confederation of Industry among 340 businesses.

Employees of over 50 percent of the surveyed companies work from home or take care of their children, and over 30 percent of them are in quarantine, according to the poll. A third of companies have reduced production and another third is planning to do so, the Confederation of Industry said. A two-month shutdown would endanger the existence of two thirds of firms.A total of 30 percent of companies experience insufficient demand at home over the coronavirus crisis and 25 percent of firms register that abroad, according to the survey. More than 25 percent also face problems with supplies abroad and distribution of their products. Entrepreneurs will be able to apply for interest-free loans worth Kc10,000-Kc15m with deferred instalments for a year within the COVID II programme.

Loans will be provided by commercial banks and guaranteed by the state via guarantee and development bank CMRZB.The government has approved relief from minimum mandatory advance payments for social and health insurance of sole traders for six months from March to August, liberation from advance payments of both individual and corporate income tax in June, and the "kurzarbeit" system enabling businesses affected by the anti-coronavirus measures to introduce part- and short-term work, with the state covering 50-80 percent of their employees' wages depending on the reason of the limitation of their performance. The Confederation of Industry would like more measures like preserving the free cross-border movement of goods, and faster testing for the virus, the confederations's vice-president Jan Rafaj said.

Source: ČTK

section SPČR