According to a new report by the World Bank, "Doing Business in 2005: Removing Obstacles to Growth," which ranks the business climate in 145 countries, overall the Czech Republic ranks among the top 40 best countries in which to do business. However, among OECD countries, the Czech Republic remains among the most bureaucratic, the report found. Entrepreneurs in the Czech Republic can expect to go spend 40 days and go through 10 administrative steps to launch a new business, for example, whereas in the OECD countries it takes on average 25 days. Closing a business here takes 9.2 years as compared to 1.7 years on average in other OECD countries.
Inflation in the Czech Republic hit a two-year high of 3.4 percent year-on-year in August, the statistical office said on Wednesday. In July the inflation rate was 3.2 percent, a figure which prompted the Czech National Bank to raise interest rates by 25 basis points to 2.5 percent. Analysts expect inflationary pressures to continue growing in the coming months, leading to further rises in interest rates.
The Czech Republic was among several countries to reject a proposal by French Finance Minister Nicolas Sarkozy to axe European Union structural funds for new EU member countries whose taxes are lower than the European average. Czech Finance Minister Bohuslav Sobotka is expected to voice formal opposition to the measure this Friday during an Ecofin meeting of EU economy and finance ministers in Brussels.
The Czech current account deficit increased to a preliminary figure of nearly 41 billion crowns in the second quarter of 2004, up from just over 15.2 billion crowns in the first quarter, the Czech National Bank announced on Monday. The trade deficit reached roughly 11.3 billion crowns in the second quarter of 2004, an improvement of several billion crowns against a year earlier.
The dominant power utility CEZ has said it will raise wholesale electricity rates by an average of 11 percent next year. The Association of Building Entrepreneurs — an association of large energy consumers whose members represent roughly a third of this country's energy consumption — is lobbying to reverse the energy price hike, which it says is too extreme.
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