In Business News this week: the lower house approves the basic parameters of the 2008 state budget, the Czech National Bank raises its inflation forecast for next year and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development blows the whistle on aid to the Czech Republic.
The Czech National Bank on Thursday raised its inflation forecast for next year, with overall inflation foreseen at 4.4 to 5.8 percent in September 2008. In the July forecast, the central bank foresaw end-2008 inflation at 3.5 to 4.9 percent. The latest forecast makes no major changes in the bank's economic outlook and it still reckons with an interest rate hike, according to CNB governor Zdenek Tuma. For the time being the central bank has left the interest rates unchanged with the key rate at 3.25 percent.
Czech companies donated more than 758 million crowns (over 40 million US dollars) to good causes last year, the economics daily Hospodarske noviny says in its Friday edition, citing the TOP Corporate Philanthropist chart compiled by the Czech Donors Forum. Czech firms are among the most generous donors in Central Europe. The overall sum donated to charity is several times higher that that given by companies in Slovakia and Hungary, the paper says. For instance, Czech state-run power producer CEZ spent close to 242 million crowns (close to 13 million US dollars) on charity this year, placing at the top of the 2007 list. Ceska sporitelna bank came second, followed by insurer Ceska pojistovna, both donating around 50 million crowns (2.6 million US dollars) in support of good causes. Almost two-thirds of Czechs say their trust in a company grows if they find it supports charity.