The Czech composite business confidence indicator increased in March from 2 points in February to 5 points. The increase was driven by confidence in industry, which rose from zero to 6 points. Construction confidence indicator keeps steady at –19. Confidence in trade fell from 21 to 19 points. Czech consumers are traditionally pessimistic, their confidence decreased from February’s –3 to –6 points.
Foreigners coming to the Czech republic would not solve the problem of Czech pension system, said deputy of Minister of Labor and Social affairs Jarmila Škvrňová yesterday. In fact, immigrants would not only contribute to the system but use its financial resources as well. On the contrary, the oldenig population of the Czech republic will influence the pension system negatively. According to an OECD study, the population of the Czech republic will amount 7.8 mil people in 2050. Igor Tomes, World Bank consultant, says that the Czech republic should reform its pension systems in 5 years at maximum.
The European Commission approved officially custom duties on steel import to the EU yesterday. The custom duties range from 14.9% to 26% and they will be imposed on import exceeding quantitative quotas. According to Vice premier Vladimir Spidla, the duties should not affect Czech steel exports to the EU.
Polish central bank (NBP) decided to leave its interest rates unchanged yesterday. Key rate, the intervention 28-day rate, stayed at 10%. Polish economists guess, the action of the NBP was motivated by an effort of the NBP to resist the pressure from the government and keep its monetary policy stable (not expansive).
The British economy rose 1.6% year-on-year in Q4. The GDP increased 2.2% last year.
Index of business confidence in France rose in March by 2 points, from 93 points in February. Thus, France joined the optimistic group of Germany and the USA.
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