(Adds details, comment) PRAGUE, July 31 (Reuters) - The Czech economy shrank at a record pace in the second quarter after coronavirus lockdown measures shut factories and businesses for an extended period, but the contraction was not as bad as widely feared. The economy contracted in the quarter by 8.4% versus the previous three months, according to a flash estimate by the Czech Statistics Office. On a year-on-year basis, the economy declined by 10.7% in real terms. This was also the biggest drop on record. In a Reuters poll, analysts had expected a 12.9% quarter-on-quarter contraction in gross domestic product and a 14.7% year-on-year decline. The most optimistic forecast had been for an 8.1% fall and the most pessimistic predicted an 18% decline. The statistics office gave no breakdown of the preliminary data but said the contraction was fuelled by a significant drop in foreign demand and lower household consumption and investments. It will publish detailed second-quarter figures on Sept. 1. Analysts believe the bottom will be hit in the second quarter although it is uncertain what impact a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic would have. The full impact has also not yet been felt on the labour market, which has so far been buoyed by government schemes helping firms cover salaries. GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT (pct change) Q2/20 Q1/20 Market fcast quarter/quarter -8.4 -3.4 -12.9 year/year -10.7 -2.0 -14.7 Details on www.czso.cz/csu/czso/home ** To monitor in real-time Czech economic data releases in the Eikon app and view historical data click: reuters://realtime/verb=Open/url=cpurl://apps.cp./Apps/Economic-Monitor?g=2E (Reporting by Mirka Krufova and Jason , Editing by Timothy Heritage)
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