Most firms regard govt measures as insufficient

Some 72 percent of firms in Czechia regard government measures to mitigate the economic impacts of the novel coronavirus crisis as insufficient, according to a survey conducted by the Czech Confederation of Industry.

A tenth of firms have been forced to suspend operations completely and almost one third have reported output decreases of more than 20 percent, the survey showed. Czechia's industrial output has been affected by the coronavirus crisis for more than a month. Almost 50 percent of businesses are neither making redundancies nor planning to. More than 30 percent said they were waiting for the start of the kurzarbeit short-time working system, which was launched on April 6.

Businesses know they would have a hard time finding employees once the crisis has passed, said confederation head Jaroslav Hanak. This situation is unlikely to last long as firms are suffering from shortages of contracts, which will result in wage issues, among others, he said. Some 76 percent of businesses are planning to join the kurzarbeit system. It is vital that firms be able to use the system for at least six months, otherwise it will not have the intended effect, said Hanak.

Roughly 30 percent of businesses register outstanding payments from customers and more than 25 percent are at risk of secondary insolvency in the next two months due to customers' worsening payment discipline. As many as 43 percent of firms expect annual drops in contracts of more than 20 percent in April and May. The survey was conducted among 148 industrial enterprises on April 2-3.

Source: ČTK

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