Business News

Škoda YETI, photo: CTK
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In Business News this week: viewers get a first glimpse of the redesigned Škoda YETI; the grain and rapeseed harvests this year are a success; the number of self-employed has moved closer to one million; tourist agencies are offering clients travelling to Egypt a chance to switch destinations at the last minute; the Czech Republic is out of recession.

YETI gets new look & new off-road version

Škoda YETI, photo: CTK
The Mladá Boleslav-based carmaker Škoda Auto this week unveiled its newest YETI which underwent a recent facelift but also got a new close cousin. Two kinds of YETI will now be produced: the original compact SUV as well as the more “robust” YETI Outdoor – designed specifically for off-road. Both models will officially be presented for the first time at the International auto show held in Frankfurt in the autumn. The redesigned YETI has new lights, sharper lines, managing, observers say, to look sleek and tough at the same time. The YETI was first introduced by Škoda four years ago; in 2012 the automaker sold 87,400 of them, a year-on-year increase of 23.4 percent. The firm expects the redesigned YETI to prove just as popular.

Successful harvest projected: grain yield to see increase of 15 percent

Photo: CTK
Officials at the Czech Statistics Office have revealed that the Czech grain harvest will see a rise of 15.2 percent this year, hitting an overall yield of 6.5 million tonnes. Farmers will also harvest a record 1.3 million tonnes of rapeseed, an increase of 18.4 percent. The prices of grain and rapeseed have fallen due to the favourable harvest estimate, farmers say. Agricultural Chamber head Jan Veleba said that the record-high rapeseed crop had seen prices drop to the current 8,000 crowns per tonne against last year´s 11,000 to 12,000 crowns per tonne. The harvest of wheat, the main crop, is estimated this year at 4.2 million tonnes, which would be a rise of 31.4 percent annually.

Number of self-employed inches closer to one million

Photo: Zanetta Hardy / Stock.XCHNG
The number of economically-active self-employed individuals rose by 2,000 to an overall 996,000 in the Czech Republic in the first half of this year, according to data released by the Czech Social Security Administration. In 2012, the number of self-employed had dropped by 8,000 to 994,000. The category of the self-employed includes private GPs, artists and farmers. The highest number of self-employed persons was registered in Prague at 168,000 and in the region of central Bohemia which had 132,000 at the end of June. The Czech News Agency reports that no other country in the European Union has self-employed who have such a significant impact on the economy.

Travel agencies offer clients chance to switch destinations following deadly developments in Egypt

Cairo, Egypt, August 14, 2013, photo: CTK
Czech travel agencies are registering cancelations of vacations at the Red Sea, following marked unrest and violence in Egypt. At least one is offering clients who bought package vacations for August the option of switching to other vacation destinations. Some may scratch offers to Egypt altogether, the Czech News Agency says. A state emergency was introduced in Egypt following a clampdown by security forces that left more than 700 people dead. The Czech Foreign Ministry has also issued a travel warning for Czechs currently in the country.

Czech economy finally sees growth but analysts urge caution

Illustrative photo: Svilen Milev / Stock.XCHNG
The Czech Republic’s longest recession on record this week come to an end to the pleasant surprise of many economists. According to preliminary figures released on Wednesday by the Czech Statistics Office, the economy grew by 0.7 percent in the second quarter of the year – the first growth recorded after six straight quarters of contraction. The upturn was largely driven by exports, which increased by 1.4 percent in the April to June period. Analysts warn that while the news is positive, the economy is still weak and in their view a more substantial recovery can only be expected next year.