Business News

Photo: Barbora Kmentová

In Business News this week: Study suggests grey economy equal to 15 percent of GDP; meat production up after over decade of decline; personnel agencies warn of huge shortfall in some specialists; VAT rise on cigarettes to kick in next month; and smart phones pass out classic mobiles on Czech market.

Study: Czech grey economy equal to 15 percent of GDP

Photo: Barbora Kmentová
The grey economy in the Czech Republic grew slightly to CZK 612 billion last year, according to a study released on Friday by the card company Visa. The informal sector was therefore equivalent to 15 percent of the country’s entire gross domestic product for 2014. This is below the European average of 18.5 percent but twice as high as the level in Austria or Switzerland, according to the report. The grey economy is particularly big in former communist states and Bulgaria was judged to have Europe’s largest at 38 percent of GDP.

Czech meat production climbs slightly after over decade of decline

Photo: Filip Jandourek
After 11 straight years of decline, meat production increased slightly in the Czech Republic in 2014. According to figures released by the Czech Statistics Office on Friday, there was a 0.8 percent rise to just over 450,000 tonnes last year. Marginal meats such as horse and goat saw a fall in production but all other types registered growth. Meanwhile, there was a 1.3 percent year on year rise in milk production in 2014.

Personnel agencies: Economy to face catastrophic shortage of specialists in coming decades

Photo: bluerock / freeimages
The Czech economy is set to face a catastrophic shortage of specialists in some fields over the next quarter century, the Czech News Agency reported this week, quoting personnel agencies. It said that there was already a marked lack of workers with technical skills at all levels of education from apprenticeship to university. A representative of Stanton Chase said 30 to 35 was the biggest age group in the Czech Republic and that generation would stop working in around 25 years, leading to a “huge crisis” on the labour market.

Increase in VAT on cigarettes to kick in in coming month

Photo: Kristýna Maková
Cigarettes are set to increase in price by CZK 5 or 7 in the Czech Republic in the coming weeks. Value added tax on cigarettes rose at the start of the year but retailers are allowed to sell previously stockpiled supplies at the old rate until the end of February. A pack of 20 Camels will, for instance, go up in price from CZK 84 to CZK 89. VAT was increased in line with a European Union regulation that sets a minimum rate of 90 euros per 1,000 cigarettes.

Smart phones now more popular than classic mobiles on Czech market

Photo: Filip Jandourek
The number of smart phones in the Czech Republic last year exceeded the number of classic mobiles for the first time, suggests a survey conducted by Mediaresearch. In 2014 59 percent of users had a mobile with an operating system. The study also found that Facebook was the main source of news for over 20 percent of Czechs.