The Czech Republic’s continued economic growth offers an opportunity to intensify its structural reforms, suggests the annual report of the European Commission, assessing the economic and social situation in EU members states. However, it also warns of increasing regional disparities, masked by the continued rise in living standards.
Total assets of the Czech Republic amounted to 5.2 trillion crowns at the
end of 2017, up 1.3 percent year on year, according to consolidated
financial statements published by the Ministry of Finance. As an accounting
entity, the country posted a profit of about 181 billion crowns last year,
up 43 percent in annual terms.
The consolidated financial statements provide information on the financial situation and performance of all entities of the state administration and self-government of the Czech Republic as if it were a single economic unit.
Included therein are 18,138 units, including ministries and other authorities, regions, municipalities, health insurance companies and significant holdings held by the state administration and local governments.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš pledged in a speech before his ANO party’s
biannual congress on Sunday to abolish the “super gross” tax wage as
part of a wider tax reform effort that would reduce taxes on employees.
In effect since 2008, the super gross wage is the base for calculating the employee income tax. It is the sum of an employee’s gross wage plus social and health insurance premiums.
Mr Babiš, who founded ANO and is again running unopposed in the election for party chairman, said he also wants to revise social benefits policies to be more pro-family. He equated a decline in Czech birth rates with a high tax burden.
Average rents in Prague rose by 3 percent last year to CZK 340 per square
metre, a slower pace than in the previous year, according to Trigema, a
The steepest average rise was in Prague 7 (11.4 percent) followed by Prague 1 (by 8.5 percent) and Prague 3 (by 8.1 percent).
The highest average rents were in the city centre, at CZK 433 per sqm in Prague 1 and CZK 389 per sqm in Prague 2. The lowest were in Prague 9 (CZK 299 per sqm) and Prague 10 (CZK 303 per sqm).
The number of available rental units in Prague fell by 15 percent year-on-year to 6,324 last year, according to Trigema.
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.
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