Business News

The unemployment in the Czech Republic, source: CTK

Czech GDP accelerated in 2003 in year-on-year terms. Czech consumer prices subsided in February. The unemployment rate in the Czech Republic has reached an all-time high. The Czech construction sector began the year with a 15 percent year-on-year jump. Japanese automotive company Asmo is to start production at its new plant in the town of Zruc nad Sazavou.

Czech economic growth slows down in Q4, but structure positive

Czech economic growth measured by gross domestic product slowed to 3.1 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2003 from 3.4 percent in the previous three months. The Czech Statistics Office said the result put economic growth for the whole year 2003 at 2.9 percent. In 2002, the economy grew by 2.0 percent. In the fourth quarter alone, growth was driven increasingly by capital formation and slightly less than before by household demand. Analysts said the structure was good news for the economy and showed the central bank does not need to worry about inflation, while rising investments showed good signs for future growth.

February inflation low

Czech consumer prices subsided in February thanks to cheaper food, clothes and phone charges. The Statistics Office said the consumer price index rose by 0.2 percent in February, below January's 1.8 percent increase caused by a series of tax hikes. This put annual inflation at 2.3 percent, unchanged from January, and the highest rate in nearly two years.

Unemployment reaches all-time high

The unemployment in the Czech Republic,  source: CTK
The unemployment rate in the Czech Republic reached 10.9 percent in February, up from the previous all-time high of 10.8 percent in January. The result comes as a surprise as most experts predicted stagnation or a slight decrease in the jobless rate. The total number of unemployed people reached 570 thousand, and labour offices now register 13 job seekers per vacancy on average. Analysts predict that unemployment will start falling in the coming months due to seasonal jobs in construction and agriculture, possibly to below 10 percent in May. However, long-term problems of a structural nature are bound to persist.

Czech construction jumps in January on transport projects

Photo: European Commission
The Czech construction sector began the year with a 15 percent year-on-year jump in January, its highest in five months. The development of output in January was influenced by growth of both new domestic construction and construction abroad, major transport infrastructure projects, as well as weak results a year ago. According to the Czech Statistics Office, the sector might be boosted by the extension of the underground in the Czech capital this year.

Japan's Asmo to build a car part plant in the Czech Republic

Japanese automotive company Asmo will start production in May at its new plant in the town of Zruc nad Sazavou, about 40 km east of Prague. The Czech government's investment promotion agency CzechInvest said the new plant will manufacture motors for window regulators, air conditioners and throttle valve controls. By the end of the fiscal year of 2010, Asmo expects to employ approximately 240 people and estimates sales of around 43 million euro at the new company. The new company will supply its products to companies manufacturing automotive systems in Europe.