In Business News this week: Czech unemployment rates continue to plummet; the Prague Stock Exchange enjoys record highs; the government approves a euro adoption plan but fails to set a date for the introduction of the currency, and poor barley harvests could mean trouble for Czech brewers.
Czech unemployment rate continues to fall
The unemployment rate in the Czech Republic fell in March for the twentieth month in a row. Only 7.3% of the workforce was without work last month, which puts unemployment in the country at its lowest level since the beginning of 2004. Nevertheless, there are major differences in unemployment rates between different regions of the Czech Republic. Prague has the lowest rate of just 2.6% while the Most area in north Bohemia has the most people out of work with 18.3% percent unemployment. Experts also warn that labour shortages in places like Prague could result in a sharp increase in wage levels in these areas.
Prague stock exchange sets new records
Prague Stock Exchange enjoyed record highs this week with its PX index rising to 1,748.8 points on Thursday, the fifth record set in just six days. Overall, the index has gained twelve percent since the start of the year. Analysts say the Prague Stock Exchange is benefiting from widespread investor interest in central Europe and from the growth of western European bourses in general. This week share trading turnover at the stock exchange in Prague rose to 5.6 billion Czech crowns or approximately 270 million dollars.