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Czech Watch - 18 April 2002

18.4.2002 10:49

Retail sales rose in February 4.3% y/y in real terms. Sales of fuel increased 15.6%. Demand on fuel was driven by its low prices. Car sales fell year-on-year by 1.1%. The “core” retail sales of consumer goods increased by 4.0%. Although the dynamics of the sales developments is not breathtaking, it should be enough to keep favorable influence of consumers’ demand on the economic growth in the Czech Republic.

Yesterday, the Czech national bank published its accounting balance for the first decade of this month. It is possible to get important estimates from the data. The CNB expended some EUR 600mln for the intervention in April 4. The amount substantially exceeds preliminary estimates.

The Government finished last year’s state budget. At the yesterday’s meeting, the final account was approved with deficit of CZK 67.7bn. According to the new rules, the Government had to approve also results of off-budget funds and municipalities. The final account is to be agreed by the Parliament.

The U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan said yesterday before the Joint Economic Committee of the Congress that the rate of the recovery of American economy could be still uncertain. He pointed out some new risks, especially in form of high crude oil prices.

British government approved a tax hike (social security tax) by 1% in effect from the next year in order to redeem their election promise. The increase should rise expenditures on health care finaced by the tax.

March consumer prices in the Eurozone rose by 0.6%, the same pace as in the EU. The strongest impact on the rise had prices of clothes (+4.1%) and energy crudes (+1.2%). Year-on-year inflation jumped 2.5% from 2.4% in February in the Eurozone. EU inflation reached 2.3%.

Click here for the „Czech economic daily“ in .pdf format.

Radim Krejčí

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