Industrial production grew by 4.1% y/y in March and working days adjusted output was 6.2% up. Main contributors to the rise in production were traditionally successful fields including production of electronic and optical appliances. The electronics and optics also helped to keep the high dynamics of export of industrial production, which increased by 8.5% y/y in March. Industrial revenues increased by 0.8%, seasonally adjusted +3.0%. Industrial output increments exceed a rise in sales for the fifth month in a row indicating less favorable marketing. Unlike the situation in construction, the rate of real wage growth and labor productivity remains stable in the industry. Average real wage rose 1.0% and labor productivity grew by 3.2% y/y but only due to reduction in headcount by 2.3%.
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development said yesterday that most of Middle and East European countries would not retain last year’s pace of economic growth this year. The region will grow by 2.6% on average this year. Everything depends on recovery in the European Union. The highest growth rate of GDP will enjoy Lithuania (5%). The other countries in the region will grow by 3% to 4% except Poland with just 1.5% growth estimated by EBRD.
The UMTS tender in Slovakia entered three applicants including both Slovakian operators – Eurotel and Orange. Price for the license for GSM and UMTS is as high as SKK 1.5bn, the single license costs SKK 1.499bn. The tender will probably end in June 2002.
Slovakian retail sales rose 6.3% y/y in March following a fall by 2.8% in February.
U.S. April retail sale surprised by a substantial growth (+1.2% m/m) after a 0.1% rise in March. The April’s surge was the highest since October 2001.
Hungary fears inflation! Consumer prices increased by 0.9% in April, year-on-year inflation surged to 6.1% from 5.9% in March.
In France, consumer prices rose by 0.5%, year-on-year inflation dropped to 2.1% from 2.2% in March.
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