Industrial production in the Czech Republic rose at an annual pace of 10.9 percent in November, official figures showed on Tuesday. The data were received by financial markets with disappointment: average expectations had been for a rise in industrial production of over 13 percent. The wider Czech economy is growing robustly by western European standards but lags the rest of Central and Eastern Europe.
President Vaclav Klaus is expected to nominate Czech National Bank head Zdenek Tuma for another six-year term as bank governor. Citing unnamed sources, the daily Hospodarske Noviny reports that the economist Miroslav Singer of the consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers and long-time Klaus adviser Robert Holman, a professor at the Prague-based University of Economics, will be named to the central bank's governing board; the former CEO of the Czech consolidation agency, Pavel Rezabek, is also thought to be in the running.
The Czech Securities Commission has for the first time in its history, placed a brokerage under forced administration. The securities dealer Sati - a member of the Prague bourse and one of the smaller brokerages in the Czech Republic with only 1,000 clients - was placed under forced administration due to the company's failure to meet capital adequacy limits, shortcomings in the control system and poor control of clients' assets, the Interfax news agency reported.
The German automotive component manufacturer Kiekert has announced plans to double its production capacity in the Czech Republic. Kiekert intends to invest at least 26 million US dollars into construction and machinery for a new plant in Prelouc, eastern Bohemia, to produce automobile locking systems. This investment will create up to eleven hundred new jobs in the region.
The ranks of the unemployed in the Czech Republic grew by 24,000 people last month; data released this week showed that as of December, nearly some 542,000 people were out of work, or 9.5 percent of the working age population. That is the highest monthly rate of unemployment in six months. In related news, the number of people running small private businesses, including medical clinics and farms, dropped by 53,000 last year; analysts say a change in the tax code requiring advance payment of a set rate of taxes had led to the decline in entrepreneurship.
The price of a high-speed internet connection via ADSL has dropped by one-third since a year ago. Internet users now pay some CZK 800 per month for an ADSL connection at a speed of 512 kilobits per second. The Czech Republic showed the fourth highest level of growth - 45 percent -- in the number of high-speed internet connections in the world in the third quarter of last year.
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