Czech economy could grow 3.5% y/y in 2016, Minister of Industry and Trade Jan Mládek (ČSSD) predicts. Mr. Mládek estimates that the growth rate in 2015 will total 4.5%, thanks to strong industry, foreign trade, drawing from EU funds and access to investments. The predicted slowing of the growth rate will probably be driven by weaker drawing from European funds in the upcoming program term. Possible crude oil and gas price hikes are another risk factor for the economic development, the minister says. Czech National Bank’s latest prediction foresees GDP growth of 2.8% for 2016.