The year on year pace of industrial price increases at Czech factory gates slowed down in May to 2.3 percent, according to figures released Friday by the Czech Statistical Association. That compares with April’s 3.2 percent. But the producer price rises passed on by farmers, those in the construction sector, and in services rose in May compared with a year earlier. Agricultural prices climbed 12.6 percent, construction by 1.5 percent, and services by 0.9 percent. Higher fruit prices were one of the main factors in the farm sector figures.
The possible investor in the new reactor at the Dukovany nuclear power plant in the Czech Republic, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka should be either the owner, energy giant CEŽ, or the state, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has said. Three financial proposals (or variants) on the completion of the new unit are on the table, following a meeting of the Standing Committee for Nuclear Energy on Thursday. According to Mr Sobotka, the final proposal could be chosen at the latest by early 2018.
The Czech financial sector remains highly resistant to shocks, the Czech National Bank says in its 2015/2016 Report on Financial Stability published on Tuesday. Stress tests on Czech banks confirmed their ability to handle even a deep recession and increased losses on loans. However, the central bank says there is genuine risk surrounding mortgages, with the danger of a property price and loans spiral continuing. Meanwhile, the CNB has raised the compulsory credit reserve for all banks, savings banks and securities traders from 0.5 percent to 1.0 percent, a decision that will take effect in mid-2018.
Unemployment in the Czech Republic has gone down for the fourth consecutive month and is currently at its lowest level since May 2008. According to the latest figures from the country’s Labour Office, 4.1 percent of the potential workforce was jobless in May, down by 0.3 percentage points on the previous months. Meanwhile, the number of vacancies has been gradually increasing and currently stands at over 174,000.
The lower house’s Mandate and Immunity Committee has recommended that deputies Josef Novotný of the Social Democrats and Jaroslav Borek of the Communist Party be stripped of their parliamentary immunity. The police want to charge both MPs with abuse of EU subsidies in connection with a regional programme in the northwest of the country. The Chamber of Deputies should decide on whether to remove their immunity during its current session. Two dozen people, including politicians, senior civil servants and business people, have already been charged over the alleged corruption.
Year-on-year, the Czech economy advanced 2.9 percent after growing by 1.9 percent in the previous period, matching preliminary estimates, the Czech Statistics Office reported. It was the strongest growth rate since the second quarter of 2015, mainly due to rising foreign and household demand. Exports were up year-on-year by 5.4 percent, driven mainly by automobiles and electronics.
Former finance minister Andrej Babiš, whose ANO party is widely expected to win the autumn general elections, has said the Czech Republic should not join the Eurozone. In an interview for the ctk news agency, Babiš said that adopting the euro would only burden the country with foreign debts and strip it of the crown which is an effecting instrument in managing economic crises. Babiš also spoke out in favour of the Czech National Bank retaining its independence. If the country joins the Eurozone it will have fewer opportunities for independent decision-making, Babiš said.
Czech household debt has for the first time in history exceeded two trillion crowns. The debt burden in the first quarter of 2017 increased by 162 billion crowns compared to the same period last year, according to data released by the Banking and Non-banking credit register on Tuesday. Housing loans increased by almost 10 percent year-on-year to 1.6 trillion crowns, which is nearly 80 percent of the overall household debt.