Consumer price index decreased by 0.1% in March. Inflation, measured by year-on-year change of CPI, reached 3.7%. The decrease in consumer prices was mainly driven by lower food prices and by post-season discounts of travel agencies. Price reduction affected also retailers in confection and shoes. Negative impact on CPI had rising prices of oil products. However, rising oil prices influenced the level in second half of March, thus, the oil will likely affect April’s figures as well.
Number of jobless dropped by 13.5ths to 471.7ths in March. The March rate of unemployment fell to 9.1% from 9.3%. The March figures were under strong influence of typical seasonal factors, which have impact on most indicators of the labor market. The number of jobless rose by 20ths in comparison with March 2001.
Construction output rose by 13.8% y/y in February. The importance of climate conditions for the number is clear. Whereas the freeze in December brought the production to –6.8%, mild climate in February helped to increase hours worked by 4.5%. Average wage in construction rose 14.1% y/y, respectively 9.8% in real terms. Labor productivity surged even more (10.7%).
The Czech crown exchange rate reached new record levels yesterday. New maximum is now at 30.05 CZK/EUR. The sharp appreciation woke up CNB. Its reaction came in form of verbal intervention by Vice-governor Ludek Niedermayer. The likeliness that the crown would break magic level of 30.0 is high unless the CNB would use its direct intervention.
The unemployment in Germany fell for the first time in last 15 months. In March, it was down by 0.4% to 10.0% from 10.4% in February.
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