While January’s unemployment rates were still the lowest since 1997, the
Labour Office reports that the number of people without work has increased
to 3.3 percent.
Analysts expected this increase due to seasonal factors. However, the numbers are higher by one decimal point than their projections indicated.
Economists do not expect another major decrease in unemployment like that seen in 2018. Furthermore, the growth in vacancies is also projected to go down this year.
Despite increases in the past two months, unemployment levels in 2019 are expected to continue being very low and to fall below 3.0 percent with the onset of spring. This trend is also expected to put further pressure on employers to increase wages.
The government is preparing more significant income tax cuts than
previously planned to make up for the fact that the planned abolition of
the so-called “super-gross” tax wage has been postponed until 2021.
Under a tax reform bill being drafted by the Finance Ministry the income tax Czechs pay could drop from the present 20 to under 19 percent. Finance Minister Alena Schillerova told Czech Television she wanted to link the proposed tax changes with changes to the health insurance system.
On the other hand, the prime minister has stressed the need to cut expenditures in public administration and has requested ministers from his own party to outline their cost-saving plans.
The head of the Czech Roman Catholic Church has hit back at a Communist Party bill aimed at taxing compensation paid to churches for property seized under the previous regime. Cardinal Dominik Duka has described the Communists’ move as a “black comedy” and says a Senate vote on the matter will determine how faith groups proceed.
The volume of new Czech housing loans declined in December to the lowest
level in two-and-a-half years. The drop was driven by stricter
recommendations from the central bank and strong frontloading in the second
half of 2018, ING says.
The total volume of housing loans slowed to 23.8 billion crowns in December. Looking at new loans without refinancing, the volume declined to 14.8 billion, the lowest figure since mid-2016.
This development most likely was driven by substantial frontloading of mortgages during June-October last year, before stricter central bank recommendations kicked in. In 2019, the market expects the volume to fall by around 10 percent, according to ING.
The Czech Ministry of Finance says that if the United Kingdom leaves the
European Union without having reached a deal it would lead to poorer
economic results in the Czech Republic. A no-deal Brexit would result in
GDP growth of below 2.0 percent this year, between 0.6 and 0.8 percent less
than would otherwise have been expected.
The data is contained in a new Ministry of Finance prognosis quoted by the newspaper E15. If the UK exits the EU with a deal the Czech economy should expand by 2.5 percent in 2019, ministry officials believe.
To commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the introduction of the crown, the Czech National Bank has issued special coins and banknotes that members of the public can trade for their normal equivalents. The coins and banknotes can be used as currency, but most eager collectors will be unwilling to give them up.
The Czech National Bank on Wednesday issued a second series of three
20-crown coins and a special 100-crown banknote in celebration of the 100th
anniversary of the Czechoslovak currency.
People queued for hours to be among the first to get the coins, which feature portraits of the First Republic economists – First Minister of Finance Alois Rašín; his successor, Karel Englis; and the first governor of the National Bank of Czechoslovakia, Vilém Pospíšil.
The issue is part of the central bank’s “Personalities of the Czechoslovak State” edition featuring the Czech and Slovak political figures.
In October, it released into circulation 20-crown coins with portraits of the founding fathers of Czechoslovakia – Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, Edvard Beneš and Rastislav Štefánik.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš’s (ANO) government has paid a record 463
million crowns in bonuses to its members during its six-month existence,
Czech Radio reports.
The ministries and the government office rewarded the secretaries of state, the section leaders and other civil servants. The lion’s share went to officials in the ANO-led Ministry of Finance.
The Cabinet of ex-Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats) paid out some 10 million crowns less in the final six months of his time in office.
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