It's time for this week's business news, which saw the release of some major economic statistics. With elections only three months away, these figures are bound to play an important role in whom voters choose at the ballot box. Yon Pulkrabek brings us a rundown of the surprising numbers.
Exports drive the economy
Key economic indicators improve
Spain to open its labour market to Czechs
Spain announced this week that it will open its labor market to citizens of countries that joined the EU in May of 2004. The measure means that Czechs will be able to apply for jobs in Spain without having to attain a work permit. Great Britain, Ireland and Sweden were the only EU member states to open their labor markets to citizens of new member states when the countries joined the EU. Spain now joins Portugal and Finland in dropping the moratorium this year. Greece is also expected to drop the blocks, while Germany, Austria and Belgium have announced that they will extend the moratorium. All the remaining EU states have until the end of April to announce their stand on the issue.
Czech billionair Kellner wealthier than Trump, Branson
Finally, Czech finance magnate Petr Kellner has landed on the prestigious Fortune magazine list of the world's billionaires. Kellner owns the PPF financial group, which includes the Ceska pojistovna insurance company and the Home Credit leasing group. The magazine calculated Kellner's fortune to be worth about three billion dollars, placing him 224th on the list of the world's wealthiest individuals. Kellner is the highest ranked central European on this list and even topped the likes of famous businessmen Donald Trump, Richard Branson and Ted Turner.