The Czech central bank on Friday raised its forecast for the 2018 public
sector surplus to 1.6 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) from an
earlier estimate of 1.4 percent. The bank improved its outlook for the 2019
surplus to 1.8 percent from a previous forecast of 1.5 percent.
The bank increased its expectation for 2017 public debt to 34.7 percent of GDP from 33.8 percent. In 2019, the debt level should drop further to 29.8 percent of GDP.
The Czech National Bank announced Thursday that it had increased its basic
interest rate by 0.25 percentage points to 0.75 percent.
The move had been widely expected with the crown strengthening ahead of the announcement. It moved to its highest level against the euro since the so-called low crown policy was ended last year before retreating slightly.
The board already decided twice last year to raise interest rates by the same margin, the last decision coming at the start of November.
Bank governor Jiří Rusnok has indicated in the past that a series of gradual interest rate rises can be expected as inflation picks up in the country and economic growth remains strong.
Tax freedom day in the Czech Republic will fall on June 23, that’s the
latest it has ever been according to the calculations of consulting company
The calculation means that citizens will in effect work 174 to cover tax payments before they can start to earn for themselves. Last year, tax freedom day fell one day earlier on June 22. Tax freedom day with this year fall earlier in Poland and Slovakia but later in Hungary.
The average price of new apartments in Prague grew by 19 percent year on
year in 2017, according to a study produced by the property development
companies Trigema, Skanska Reality and Central Group. The number of new
flats sold last year declined by 17 percent, the report found.
The volume of new properties on the market in the capital last year was half the figure for mid-2015.
Critics say excessive red tape is preventing the construction of sufficient numbers of new apartments, creating a bottleneck and pushing up prices.
Outgoing Czech prime minister and ANO leader Andrej Babiš has opposed the
idea of a regional development bank covering the Visegrad four countries,
Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic.
Ahead of a meeting of the Central European grouping on Friday in Budapest, Babiš said the main task of the Czech government was to deal with Czech banks.
Hungary and Poland have been the main backers of a regional development bank on the grounds that European Union funds for such a purpose are likely to dry up in the future. The Budapest meeting was also scheduled to discuss migration policy ahead of an EU meeting in Brussels next month.
Czech Prime Minister and ANO party leader Andrej Babiš is set to attend
the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. On Thursday, he is
scheduled to meet with his counterparts from Luxembourg, Portugal, Estonia
and Israel. Among other things, he will be discussing European issues and
Czech-Israeli cooperation in science, innovation and economy.
The Czech prime minister is also set to take part in a panel debate, focused on creating common visions for the EU and hold talks with the president of the UN General Assembly Miroslav Lajčák. Mr Babiš will also have lunch with other European politicians, including EU Commission President Jean Claude Juncker.
Mr Babiš said last week that the World Economic Forum was one of the most important meetings of world leaders and a welcome opportunity for the Czech Republic to make new partners and allies.