The Czech Finance Ministry released its economic forecasts on Tuesday. GDP will likely grow by 3.4% this year and accelerate to +3.6% in 2003. Average rate of inflation is seen at 3.3% this year following previous forecast of 3.9%. The FinMin expects the inflation at 3.4% in 2003, down from 3.6% of previous forecast. Public budget deficit excluding incomes from privatization will likely reach 8.9% of GDP, respectively CZK 207.8bn. The labor market is seen less optimistic, average rate of unemployment will be 8.9% ending the year 2002 at 9.3%. The unemployment in 2003 will be 9.2% on average.
The Czech national bank is about to launch its Central register of bank-credits product from May 1. During a test period banks will have a possibility to experience the use of the register.
Rate of unemployment in the eurozone remained unchanged in March at 8.4%. According to a preliminary survey of the Eurostat, the inflation will probably fall in April to 2.2% from 2.2% in March.
French consumer confidence index fell to its 4-year minimum in April. Whereas the market
expected its stagnation on the –15 value of March, the index dropped to –18 points.
Neither consumers in the USA were optimistic in April. The Conference Board consumer confidence index fell to 108.8. points from 110.7 points in March.
The policy-making board of the ECB is meeting today to decide on monetary policy of the eurozone. The decision on interest rates is to be released at 12:45 CET. A change of the actual monetary policy is not expected .
The Board The Czech central bank is meeting today focusing on the April inflation report.
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