PRAGUE  - Czech industrial output slid at a seasonally adjusted pace of 0.1 percent in February against January, official data showed on Friday.
The decline slowed down from an 0.6-percent slump between January and December. On an annual basis, industrial output grew by 4.7 percent in February following 3.2-percent growth in January. The annual growth was attributable to car production, the traditional engine of the local industry, which jumped by 15.4 percent, statisticians said.
The Czech Republic is home to three large car plants -- Skoda Auto, a subsidiary of German group Volkswagen, South Korea's Hyundai, and TPCA, a joint venture between Toyota of Japan and French PSA (Peugeot Citroen).
In 2011, Czech production of cars and small commercial vehicles reached a record of 1,194,981 vehicles, a rise of 11.44 percent from 2010.
Statisticians also said exports in February grew by 15.2 percent compared to the same month one year ago, while imports rose by 8.8 percent.
Exports of cars and other vehicles jumped by 15.7 percent against February 2011.
The Czech Republic, a country of 10.5 million which joined the European Union in 2004, slumped into recession in the last two quarters of 2011, while full-year growth for 2011 reached 1.7 percent.
The central bank predicts zero growth for this year because of low foreign demand caused by the eurozone crisis.