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Czech Watch - 3 April 2002

3.4.2002 10:27
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The Czech state budget ends with CZK 15.7bn deficit in 1Q 2002. In March alone, the budget showed a surplus of CZK 9.2bn. At the end of March 2001 the budget was CZK 2.7bn in surplus. The balance worsened mainly due to higher expenditures: the coverage of the rest of losses posted by bail-out bank Konsolidacni banka in 1999, worth CZK 12.1bn and CZK 6.9bn transfer to regions for the reform of public administration. Besides, the FinMin has not included CZK19.7bn from the unblocking of the Russian debt in the revenues, the value in USD will be converted into CZK during 2Q.

The Czech crown jumps again. The exchange rate reached a record level against euro yesterday. The crown was selling just as low as 30.50 CZK/EUR. The American dolar weakened to less than 35 CZK (34.70 CZK/EUR).

The strong CZK has had heavy impact not only on the competitiveness of Czech exporters but also on the budget of CNB. Unfortunately, the appreciation of CZK decreases the value of CNB’s international reserves expressed in the Czech currency. Due to this fact, costs of the central bank increased by CZK 40.1bn last year. Thus, CNB posted CZK 28.6bn loss in last year. In 2000, CNB gained CZK 2.5bn in profit. Cumulated loss of CNB reached CZK 44.5bn.

According to preliminary results, CPI in Eurozone rose 2.5% in March following 2.4% rise in February. The higher inflation was driven by gasoline prices in connection with oil prices hike.

Index of supply managers in Eurozone covering about 92% of activity in manufacturing rose in March to the level of 50 points (48.6 points in February).

Consumer confidence index in France did not brake its five-month minimum and stood at –15 points in March.

Hungarian industrial prices increased by 0.3% (m/m) in March also driven by oil prices. However, PPI on year-on-year basis decreased by 2.3%.

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

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