In Busines News this week: The lower house approves 2016 budget; Inflation falls to 0.1 percent in November; Industrial production speeds up in October; October trade balance climbs to 13.3 billion crowns; Energy Regulatory Office not to pay out support for renewable sources; Prague-Shanghai air link to launch in April.
The lower house of Czech parliament approved the draft of the 2016 state budget in its final reading on Wednesday. The proposal envisages expenditures of 1.251 trillion crowns and revenues of 1.181 trillion, creating a deficit of 70 billion crowns, i.e. 30 billion lower that this year’s. The lower house has also transferred more funds to be spent on social services, education and sport. The 2016 budget will have to be signed into law by the president.
Year-on-year inflation in November fell to 0.1 percent from October’s figure of 0.2 percent, according to figures released on Wednesday by the Czech Statistics Office. Last month’s year-on-year rise in consumer prices is the lowest since February, contrary to the expectations of analysists, who predicted a year-on-year inflation rise of 0.4 percent. Compared to October, prices dropped by 0.4 percent, which was the highest month-on-month decline since September 2013. The slowdown of inflation was caused mainly by the fall in prices of foodstuffs, spirits and fuel.
Industrial production in October climbed by 3.8 percent compared with the
same month in 2014. When adjusted for the number of working days, the
output increase stood at 6.4 percent. The value of new orders over the
month climbed by 6.5 percent. The main factor fuelling the output increase
was higher production of cars but production of electricity and chemicals
fell back sharply.
The Czech trade balance for October ended with a surplus of 13.3 billion crowns, according to figures released Monday by the Czech Statistical Office. That is an advance of 1.2 billion crowns on the figure for the same month in 2014. The surplus, however, could take a major dent of 9.9 billion crowns if a new deal for the Czech army to rent Gripen jet fighter planes is taken into account. The trade balance so far this year shows a surplus of almost 138 billion crowns, that is almost 4 billion crowns more than in the first 10 months of 2014.
The Czech Energy Regulatory Office (ERU) will not pay out support for renewable sources of energy next year unless it is approved by the European Commission, ERU chairwoman Alena Vitásková told Czech Television. According to Vitásková, only about 7 percent of domestic renewable sources have received approval from the EC. The Czech Republic pays out about Kc45bn annually in support of renewable sources. One of the reasons why most renewable energy producers have not received approval from the EC is that they allegedly receive excessive support from the state. Vitásková´s position was criticised by the Industry and Trade Ministry, the Czech Photovoltaic Industry Association and the Alliance for Energy Self-sufficiency.
A direct airline link between Prague and Shanghai should be launched by China Eastern Airlines on April 2 of next year, a spokeswoman for Prague airport’s operator announced. The flights should take place three times a week. Direct flights to Beijing were launched at the end of September this year by Hainan Airlines. The start of flights to Shanghai isregarded as further proof of the Czech Republic’s stepped-up business and economic links with China.