The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) in the Czech Republic dropped to
54.9 points in August from 55.2 in July, according to financial services
company Markit. Although the August figure is the lowest in a year, it
still indicates improving conditions in the manufacturing industry, albeit
at a slower pace.
According to Markit, the PMI drop stems from weaker growth in production and new orders. Inflationary pressures remain high, with input price growth the second-highest since the end of 2017, mainly due to higher raw material prices, especially steel, as well as exchange rate developments.
August's value is below the average of the last year, but is still solidly above the 50-point base level, and still just slightly below the 4-year average.
According to the Supreme Audit Office (NKÚ), three major Czech hospitals
bought medical supplies and medicines without seeking competitive offers
between 2014 and 2016, in violation of the public procurement law.
Inspectors found that during that period Brno University Hospital (FNB), Motol Hospital (FNM) and the Central Military Hospital (ÚVN) also paid wildly different amounts for identical drugs and devices purchased from the same supplier.
Apart from examining the procurement process, the Office is also examining the pay-out of bonuses to the respective hospital directors.
The occupancy rate of Prague hotels in July fell by 4.4 per cent in annual
terms. Members of the Association of Hotels and Restaurants say the boom in
shared accommodation services, in particular via Airbnb, is behind the
drop, according to a survey by the ČTK news agency.
Airbnb’s share of overnight stays in Prague stood at 14.7 per cent last year, up 4.7 per cent from 2016. The areas renting out the most flats via shared accommodation are the historical quarters of Nové Město and Staré Město, and the district of Žižkov.
The number of guests staying in the Czech Republic through Airbnb last year rose 52 per cent to 1.02 million. Corresponding figures for its competitors Flipkey, HomeAway, House Trip, Vacation Rentals and Vrbo were not released.
Among the new generation of teachers, there is a significant range in their
own literacy, mathematical and other skills, pointing to regional and
institutional inequalities in pedagogical education, a new study by the
IDEA Institute says.
According to the study, differences in the quality of education provided by various teaching faculties are widening. The respective competency of older generations of teachers does not vary to such an extent, regardless of where they earned their degrees, it says.
Tuesday should be partly cloudy in central and northern Bohemia, but
occasional light showers are expected in the regions of Pilsen, South
Bohemia and Vysočina.
Heavier rainfall is anticipated in Moravia, particularly in the south. Average daytime temperatures should be between 21 and 26 degrees Celsius.
Children returned to school in the Czech Republic on Monday morning after
two-month summer holidays. While the number of first class pupils is
expected to be down on previous years the overall number of elementary
school children is growing, the Czech News Agency reported. Secondary
schools should have a similar number of students to last year, when a
two-year decline came to a halt.
Under a new scheme supported by NGOs and ministries almost 20,000 disadvantaged children will get free school lunches.
President Miloš Zeman welcomed pupils at the T.G. Masaryk elementary school in Prague 6. The head of state was met by a protest by a number of parents, who were oppoosed to his visit.
Government leaders ANO would have won elections last month on 28 percent of
the vote, suggests an opinion poll carried out by the Kantar TNS agency for
Czech Television. That figure is less than two points below what the party
received in October’s elections.
The Czech Pirate Party, who got under 11 percent in October would now receive 15 percent, the survey indicates. Thirteen percent of respondents in the poll said they would vote for the Civic Democrats.
The Communists and Freedom and Direct Democracy would receive 8 percent of the vote, the poll suggests, while the Social Democrats and the Mayors and Independents would get 6.5 percent, the Christian Democrats would get 5.5 percent and TOP 09 5 percent.
Karolína Plíšková has reached the fourth round at tennis’s US Open
for the third time in succession. The Czech player overcame Ashleigh Barty
of Australia 6-4 6-4 to set up a clash with local favourite Serena
Williams, who has 23 Grand Slams titles to her name.
The Czech women’s doubles pairing of Kateřina Siniaková and Barbora Krejčíková have also advanced to the fourth round in Flushing Meadows. After winning the French Open and Wimbledon the pair are the top seeds at the final Grand Slam tournament of the year.
The Social Democrats’ nominee for foreign minister, Miroslav Poche, has
been a very negative force at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, says Prime
Minister Andrej Babiš. Mr. Babiš said on a TV discussion show on Sunday
that Mr. Poche, who is currently a political secretary at the ministry,
would never head the government department.
President Miloš Zeman refused to appoint Mr. Poche and Social Democrats chairman, Minister of the Interior Jan Hamáček, is currently also serving as caretaker foreign minister. The party say they will return to the matter after Senate and municipal elections next month.
Mr. Poche described the prime minister’s words on Sunday as an attack. He said if Mr. Babiš was cooperating with the likes of Hungary’s Viktor Orban he would be hard pressed to find a similarly minded foreign minister within the Social Democrats.