Consumer prices in June rose 2.6% year on year, driven by higher costs for
fuel, electricity, and household rent, the Czech Statistical Office said on
Wednesday. Prices for telecommunications, clothing and heating fell in
annual terms. Inflation has accelerated for a third consecutive month,
following a growth rate of 2.2% y/y in May.
Some analysts predict the Czech National Bank will again intervene to stem inflation by increasing key interest rates. On 27 June, the central bank raised rates for a fourth time in just under a year, setting the two-week repo rate a 1% from 0.75%.
The country’s economy continues to accelerate and record-low unemployment is pushing up wages. Another unexpectedly strong inflationary factor has been the weakening of the crown against major world currencies. The crown is now at its lowest level against the euro in nearly a year, at CZK 25.9/EUR.
Unemployment in the Czech Republic fell to 2.9 percent in June, down from
3.0 percent the previous month, according to official figures released on
Wednesday. In June last year the jobless rate stood at 4.0 percent.
The number of jobless last month was the lowest since July 1997, while number of vacant posts climbed last month to over 301,500.
Czechs are the biggest opponents of the euro in the European Union,
suggests the latest Eurobarometer survey, quoted by Czech Television. Some
73 percent of Czech respondents in the poll said they were against the
common European currency.
In 2005, a year after the Czech Republic joined the EU, some 63 percent of Czechs were in favour of the euro. Last year, the most recent date for which figures are available, that had fallen to 22 percent.
A co-author of the Czech Insolvency Act of 2006 has warned that a proposed amendment to the law would “unintentionally” give debt relief to hundreds of thousands of people. Tomáš Richter, a renowned expert on both Czech and European insolvency law, said in an interview that lax rules set out in the current amendment could potentially mean adding another 600,000-700,000 to the list of people qualifying for debt relief.
The newly-appointed agriculture minister, Miroslav Toman, has said he will move to regulate the number of promotional campaigns in supermarket chains. The announcement comes in the wake of a controversial promo campaign at the German retailer Kaufland which recently offered shoppers a liter of milk for the price of just 1 crown.
The annual general meeting of state-controlled power producer ČEZ proved to be a contentious one, lasting a record 14 hours and into the wee hours of Saturday. In the end, it saw the ouster of three ČEZ supervisory board members, including its chairman, in a political power play. The AGM also agreed on a dividend pay-out which fell short of demands by some influential minority shareholders.
Saturday is the day of the year when Czechs have made enough money to pay
their tax obligations this year and begin earning for themselves, according
to the calculations of accounting firm Deloitte. It says it took the
country 174 days to reach the 2018 “tax freedom day”.
According to Deloitte, that day has never come so late in the year for Czechs. Another organisation, the Liberal Institute, uses different calculations and declared “tax freedom day” on May 22.
The Czech-based investment group PPF will acquire 100 percent in Serbia’s
Telenor banka, which is part of the Telenor Group. The deal is part of an
acquisition of Telenor’s telecommunication assets in Central and Eastern
Europe, namely in Hungary, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Serbia. PPF, owned by
the Czech Republic’s richest man, announced the news on Friday.
The deal still needs to be approved by the National Bank of Serbia and the relevant antimonopoly authorities. With over 390,000 clients, Telenor ranks among the second ten largest banks on the Serbian market.
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Thousands pay tribute to deceased national pop icon Karel Gott
In memoriam: Karel Gott, the ‘Bohemian nightingale’