The Czech State budget deficit reached CZK 41.9bn at the end of April (vs. CZK 15.7bn deficit at the end of March). Expenditures were at CZK 238.2bn or 32% of the plan for the whole year. Revenues reached CZK 196.3bn or 28% of the 2002 budgeted value. It is worth noticing that the final year budget deficit was approved by Parliament in value of CZK 46.2bn. The gap is so high because extraordinary proceeds have not been added in yet (Russian debt, privatization incomes). On the other side, much more was transferred to municipalities and regions and the state has had to pay by CZK 3.2bn more for social allowances.
The Slovak State budget gap reached SKK 4.1bn in April. Inclusion of banks re-structuring costs would increase the deficit to SKK 13.5bn. At he end of March the deficit reached SKK 5.91bn. Total state revenues amounted SKK 72.2bn for the first four months of this year, expenditures including bank re-structuring costs were as high as SKK 85.7bn.
The Lower House of the Parliament decided yesterday on cancellation of exceptions in Law for placing state orders without a tender. The exceptions allowed the state to misconduct the Law. The changed draft law on public orders was sponsored by Freedom Union (US) and Christian Democrats (KDU-ČSL), the draft was also supported by Civic Democrats (ODS) and Communists (KSCM). Social Democrats voted against.
The European Central bank kept its weapons silent. Key interest rates were left unchanged. Nevertheless, ECB president Wim Duisenberg pointed out inflation risks in the euro zone heading up instead of down.
Swiss central bank lowered its interest rates yesterday in order to weaken Swiss franc. The CHF exchange rate could advance thanks to the growth of Swiss economy. The key interest rate was lowered by 50bps to 1.25%.
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