In Business News this week: Unemployment falls in September; investments in environment protection go up by 5 percent; more than 60,000 Czechs bet in Eurojackpot; car sales jump by 18 percent; and Czech online retailers register record sales in 2014.
The unemployment rate in the Czech Republic fell by 0.1 percentage point in September compared to the previous month. According to data released by the Employment Office this week, unemployment is now at 7.3 percent. The number of jobless people went down by more than 6,000 to some 530,000, while the number of vacancies slightly increased to more than 56,000. The revival was boosted by the end of the summer holidays and ongoing seasonal works.
Investments in environment protection in the Czech Republic went up by five percent in 2013 compared to the previous year, to 27.1 billion crowns, according to the figures released by the Czech Statistical Office. That is the highest such spending since 1999. While companies increased their investments in environment protection by one third, to 17.8 billion crowns, investments in the public sector went down by about 3 billion crowns to 9.3 billion.
More than 60,000 Czechs have placed a bet in the European lottery Eurojackpot. The first draw with Czech participation will take place in Finland on Friday. The biggest national betting and lottery firm, Sazka, joined the Eurojackpot last month. Seventeen countries currently participate in the Eurojackpot lottery, whose record payout to date was 61 million Euros. Sazka says it has registered a turnover of 13 million crowns since last Saturday, when it started accepting bets for the European lottery.
Car sales in the Czech Republic went up by 18 percent in the first nine months of this year compared to the same period in 2013. Some 141,000 new vehicles were sold between January and the end of last month. The Czech car maker Škoda was the best-selling brand in the country with nearly 43,000 sold cars, representing 30 percent of total sales, followed by Hyundai and Volkswagen. The sale of new cars in the Czech Republic is increasing twice as fast as in the rest of Europe.
Czech internet retailers this year registered record sales of over 67 billion crowns in the first nine months of this year. That figure is 16 percent higher than that for January to September 2013, according to Tomáš Braverman, head of Heureka.cz, a website that helps customers compare prices. Electronics remain the best-selling items on the Czech web, making up nearly 30 percent of sold goods, followed by cosmetic products and clothes. There are currently more than 37,000 e-shops on the Czech market and internet sales account for nearly seven percent of the overall retail turnover.
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