The 2019 draft budget is to focus on investment, increase of public sector salaries and the raising of pensioners’ living standards, Finance Minister Alena Schillerová said after it won government approval on Wednesday. The budget proposal counts on a CZK 40 billion deficit; ten billion less than originally planned by the Ministry of Finance.
Czech economic research institute CETA (Centrum ekonomických a tržních analýz) published a study focused on the residential housing market in Prague on Friday, which claims that bureaucratic hurdles, coupled with high demand, are primarily responsible for the current low availability of housing in the capital. It also claims that Airbnb flats, which have been the centre of focus for many councillors, are not to blame.
The Czech Republic has the highest number of job vacancies in the European
Union, according to figures released by Eurostat on Monday.
According to quarterly data on the ratio of job vacancies and the number of occupied posts, the Czech Republic had 5.4 percent unoccupied positions compared to the EU average of 2.2 percent.
A year ago the Czech Republic had 3.6 percent unoccupied positions. It is followed by Belgium (3.5 percent), The Netherlands (3.1 percent) and Germany (2.9 percent).
The Czech National Bank could raise its interest rates twice by the end of the year, said the bank’s governor, Jiří Rusnok, in an interview with Reuters. The bank’s council raised the basic interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point to 1.25 percent in August. Mr. Rusnok stated that a further increase could come as early as this month.
The Czech unemployment rate stood at 3.1 percent in August, the Czech Labour office reported on Monday. The number of job seekers reached 230,490, which is the lowest figure for the month since the year 1997. The number of vacancies increased slightly to 313.000. Last August the unemployment rate was at four percent.
At a meeting of Czech ambassadors in Prague on Monday, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš stressed the importance of being a reliable and active partner in the EU and NATO. At the same time the head of government defended the country’s stance on migration and its decision not to join the Eurozone in the foreseeable future.