NYT Does He Said, She Said on the Czech Republic and the Euro
|Friday, 01 March 2013 05:57|
The NYT had a piece discussing views in the Czech Republic on joining the euro. It left the issue very much as a he said, she said, providing little information that could provide readers with a basis for assessing the merits of the policy. While the piece did report the Czech Republic's unemployment rate as 7.5 percent, indicating it has not escaped the effects of the euro crisis, it would have been a simple matter to compare the change in unemployment from the pre-crisis years.
In the Czech case, the rise was 3.1 percentage points from a 2008 unemployment rate of 4.4 percent. The rise in the euro zone as a whole was 4.1 percentage points to 11.7 percent. The rise in the unemployment rate in the peripheral countries like Spain and Greece, which may provide a more appropriate comparison, was in the double digits. This may suggest that the Czech Republic benefited substantially as a result of the fact that it was not tied to the euro and the European Central Bank.
Okay folks, here's the data. According to the IMF, the Czech Republic had a per capita GDP in 2007 of $25,300. In Greece it was $28,600 and Spain $30,200. By comparison, per capita GDP in Austria was $38,600 and in Germany it was $34,600. If you think the Czech economy is more like Austria and Germany's than Greece's and Spain's then you better go straighten out the folks who compile the data at the IMF.