Economists are forecasting a good year for the Czech economy in 2015 with a predicted growth of 2.5 percent as the economic recovery gains momentum. Supportive financial conditions, government spending, rising confidence and stronger incomes are expected to strengthen domestic demand giving the economy fresh impetus.
Supermarket chains selling cheap imported Christmas decorations are causing tough times for local producers. Traditional Czech hand-made decorations, such as ornamental glass baubles, are facing competition from factory-produced replicas sourced from China and sold at a fraction of the cost. Over the last ten months, 430 million crowns worth of decorations have been imported from China; consequently, domestic producers say they have to rely largely on exports to stay afloat.
When the McDonald fast food chain arrived in the Czech Republic twenty-two years ago it was a huge hit. In the years that followed the company posted sales figures of two digits. But in recent years business has been slowing down and profits have been stagnating. The company’s Czech division has now announced major revitalization plans.
The Kolín-based automobile manufacturer TPCA (a joint-venture of Toyota, Peugeot, and Citroen) will lay-off some 500 agency-hired staff. The news was confirmed on Wednesday by company spokesman Radek Kňava. The reason for the reduction, are fewer models to be produced in 2015 than originally projected: some 220,000 vehicles. Layoffs should not affect regular employees.
Nearly 50 percent of Czech companies are planning to raise their employees’ wages next year, according to a survey conducted by the Czech Chamber of Commerce in around 500 firms all around the country. Only five percent of the companies that took part in the poll will be lowering their employee’s salaries next year.
The retail prices of gasoline and diesel in the Czech Republic have continued to decline over the past few weeks, driven mainly by falling prices of crude oil on the world markets. However, the prices differ dramatically at different gas stations, with some retailers refusing to bring the prices down.