In Business News this week: March’s trade surplus is half that of the same month a year previously; Google ups the ante in the battle for search supremacy with the launch of a map system for Czech users; Czech coal magnate Zdeněk Bakala celebrates an extremely successful IPO; after a sharp increase in property values, the price of old flats in Prague begins to fall; Czech households pay the lowest prices for electricity in the central Europe region, says a new study: and sales of high definition televisions are set to pass out sales of classic sets this year.
March trade surplus half that in same period last year
The Czech trade surplus in March amounted to CZK 8.1 billion – half the figure for March 2007, and far below analysts’ expectations. The total volume of exports was larger than a year ago, though the value of goods exported shrank because of the strength of the Czech crown. While exports were down by 5.6 percent, imports fell by 2.4 percent. The first fall in both since January 2004 has been attributed to the firming of the Czech currency and a slowdown in the euro zone.
Google maps launched in Czech Republic
Czech coal magnates celebrates successful IPO
Old flats in Prague going down in price
After a sharp increase in flat prices in the last couple of years, things are now looking a bit brighter for those looking to invest in property in the Czech Republic. The price of older flats in Prague fell by 5 percent last month, according to a survey quoted in Hospodářské noviny. One broker told the newspaper the development was expected, as flats in prefabricated apartment buildings had been overvalued. The slowdown has been partly attributed to a lower demand for mortgages, the main source of home financing for Czechs; the mortgage market dropped by almost 9 percent in the first quarter of this year.
Czech households enjoying cheapest electricity in region
Sales of high definition televisions soon to pass out sales of classic sets
Sales of LCD and plasma television sets will overtake sales of classic TVs for the first time this year, Pavel Borowiec of the group Blu-Ray Forum.cz told reporters this week. After sales being evenly split in 2007, this year 75 percent of consumers will opt for higher definition sets, he said.