The Czech economy grew 2.8 percent year on year in the final quarter of 2018, above market expectations, revised data released on Friday by the Czech Statistical Office show. Analysts said it sent a positive signal that domestic growth remains sold despite a downturn in the Eurozone, and in particular Germany, the Czech Republic’s main export market.
The amount of property investment in the Czech Republic went down by EUR
2.62 billion in 2018, a cut back of 30 percent compared to the previous
year, a study by consultancy company Colliers International says.
Transactions also decreased by 27 percent. According to the authors of the
study this is a consequence of the low amount of quality property
investments currently on offer.
Colliers International says it expects this year’s investment rate to remain largely the same as in 2018.
If US President Donald Trump were to impose tariffs on European car makers,
the Czech economy would suffer a loss of approximately 26 billion crowns
and an estimated 25,000 people would lose their jobs, which is 0,5 percent
of all employees.
The figures, cited by the news site ihned, were released by the Vienna Institute of Economic Studies. According to an assessment by the Czech Trade and Industry Ministry tariffs could hit Czech exports to the US to the tune of 750 million euros or 20 billion crowns.
The possible impact of a trade war between Europe and the US is expected to dominate talks between US President Donald Trump and Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš at the White House on March 7th.
The Anti-Monopoly Office has fined the food chains Billa and Penny Market
from the REWE group 164 million crowns for abusing their dominant position
on the market.
Both chains reportedly requested a special fee from their suppliers for buying their products, which is banned by the law. The decision is legally binding and both food chains have accepted it.
The Constitutional Court has rejected a complaint against a ban on
billboards by Czech motorways filed by a group of 17 senators. Speaking for
the group, senator Václav Chaloupek said that the prohibition, which also
applies to first class roads, violated legal certainty and a ban on
retroactivity. The petitioners also argued that it contravened the right to
do business and the international protection of investments.
The court, which had been considering the matter since 2017, said that the billboards ban could be justified on the grounds of public interest, safety and environmental concerns.
US company Apple launched its Apple Pay service in the Czech Republic on
Tuesday. The contact free system, which is linked to payment cards, allows
people to use their Apple mobiles and watches to make payments.
Google Pay, a similar product, was already available in this country for users of phones and watches using the Android operating system.
One of the important points on Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček’s agenda during his two-day visit to Ukraine has been the strengthening of economic relations. While bilateral trade sank significantly in the immediate period following the 2014 revolution, it has been growing steadily since 2016 and now lies at nearly EUR 2 billion per year.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš is in Davos this week talking to international leaders. On Thursday he met with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and Apple CEO Tim Cook. According the Mr. Babiš there is much potential for Czech companies in what is currently the country’s second largest trading partner in South America.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has set out for South Asia this week. Together with Industry Minister Marta Nováková and a delegation numbering dozens of Czech business representatives, the PM is visiting important economic hubs in the region. Expanding science, research, education and defence cooperation is also on the agenda.