Dominant Czech electricity producer and nuclear power plant operator ČEZ
said Thursday that a small leak had been found in a measuring pipe in the
non-radioactive part of the Dukovany-4 reactor.
The repairs will take several days, the company added. The rector was powered down late Tuesday with no electricity being supplied to the network several hours later.
CEZ has insisted that radioactive water is not involved. All ČEZ’s other reactors at Dukovany and Temelín are functioning normally.
The pace of price rises speeded up in the Czech Republic in October.
Year-on-year inflation climbed to 2.9 percent from September’s 2.7 percent, the Czech Statistical Office announced on Thursday. That is the highest rate since October 2012 and an indication of what some experts are warning is an overheated economy.
The main factors were the higher costs of food and non-alcoholic drinks. Utility charges and the costs of housing were also a major factor. Month-to-month, the inflation rate in October was 0.5 percent.
The Czech National Bank has a target yearly inflation figure of 2.0 percent.
Unemployment in the Czech Republic dropped to its lowest point in almost 20
years in October to just 3.6 percent. The result was confirmed in data
released by the Czech Labor Office. In December 1997, the number of people
without work was around 269,000. The amount of those without work in
October this year numbered around 271,000. Meanwhile, the number of
vacancies grew by some 4,000 to 210,000.
The drop in unemployment and rise of vacant positions is particularly significant year-on-year: last October, unemployment stood at five percent and the amount of vacancies was 70,000 fewer.
Czech economic growth is expected to accelerate to 4.5 percent this year,
as compared to 2.5 percent in 2016, according to the Czech Chamber of
Commerce. Next year the chamber predicts a slow-down of the GDP to 3.6
percent. This year’s eeconomic growth is driven by demand on foreign
markets and consumer spending.
In its latest forecast the Czech National Bank also upgraded its growth forecast for this year to 4.5 percent, up from the predicted 3.6 in August.
The Czech National Bank’s move Thursday to raise its key two week repo rates by 0.25 percentage points to 0.5 percent was hardly a surprise and the Czech crown strengthened little as a result. Previous evidence had shown that central bank members had already been on the verge of raising rates at the previous session.
The Czech National Bank hiked interest rates on Thursday by 0.25 percentage
points to bring the basic rate to 0.5 percent.
It’s the second rate hike this year following a previous one in August. That was the first rate increase since 2008.
The latest move had been widely predicted by economists. There are also expectations that the bank could follow up with a further rate rise this year and at the start of 2018 faced with a booming domestic economy.
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