The newly-elected lower house of Parliament has started debating the most important bill of the year – the state budget for 2018. Although the time-frame for its approval is tight, observers predict a tough battle ahead, not only as regards the allocation of funds but the size of next year’s state deficit.
Czech economic growth in the third quarter accelerated from 4.7 to 5 percent compared to the previous quarter, according to figures released by the Czech Statistics Office. The growth was driven largely by increased domestic demand. According to economists it is the strongest year-on-year growth in 24 months. The positive trend is expected to continue.
The law on electronic cash registers introduced by the outgoing government
has had a positive impact on state finances, Finance Minister Ivan Pilný
said at a press briefing in Prague on Friday. He said that since the law on
compulsory electronic cash registers was introduced in January, the state
had collected an additional 4.1 billion crowns in taxes, a figure that
could rise to 5 billion by the end of the year.
Over 160,000 entrepreneurs registered with the ministry in the first year and another 300,000 will start delivering electronic records of their earnings in 2018.
The centre-right parties have criticized the move saying it will put many small entrepreneurs out of business. According to the Czech Association of Hotels and Restaurants over 3,000 restaurants closed their doors following its introduction. The chairman of the association Václav Stárek told the ctk news agency that while the number was slightly higher than in previous years it was not a dramatic decline.
ANO leader Andrej Babiš confirmed Thursday that current deputy finance
minister Alena Schillerová has been pencilled in to be the new finance
minister in his incoming Cabinet.
The former finance minister Ivan Pilný had stepped down from the post and said he would not seek to continue.
Schillerová was closely involved with the phase in of the electronic cash register system, a flagship measure of Babiš when he was finance minister.
The proportion of Czech national wealth flowing into the payment of
pensions has dropped in the past years to 8.3 percent from 9.7 percent. The
figures were released by the Research Institute for Labour and Social
According to the outgoing head of the Pensions Commission, Martin Potůčka, politicians should respond with a statement about what percent of national wealth should be set aside for pensions payment.
The Czech Republic had the lowest unemployment rate in the EU in 2016,
according to the Statistical Yearbook, released by the Czech Statistical
Office on Wednesday.
In 2017 the Czech Republic had an average four percent unemployment rate, compared with EU average of 6.8 percent. The Czech Republic was followed by Germany with 4.1 percent, while Greece was placed at the other end of the scale with 23.6 percent.
The Ministry of Finance has improved its estimate for gross domestic product growth to 4.1 percent this year and 3.3 percent in 2018. Officials said they had revised the outlooks upwards in view of the good shape of the Czech economy and international developments. In July the Ministry of Finance had issued estimates of 3.1 percent for 2017 and 2.9 percent for next year.
The Czech Republic’s economic growth accelerated to an annual five
percent rate in the third quarter of this year form 4.7 percent in the
previous quarter, according to preliminary figures published by the Czech
It is the fastest growth over the past two years. Compared to the previous quarter, GDP growth contracted from 2.5 to 0.5 percent. Analysts expect an overall annual economic growth by around 4.4 percent.
Efforts to win support for a minority government headed by ANO leader Andrej Babiš have cast doubt on the future of a hard-won settlement between the country’s 16 churches and the State. The ANO leader caused a stir this week when he expressed readiness to support the Communist Party’s demand for church restitutions to be taxed.