Retail sales fell for the first time in more than two years in December, as Czechs did their Christmas shopping earlier. Sales in retail trade dropped by 0.4%, year-on-year, in December. Looking at the October and November figures, it is obvious that Christmas shopping was partly realized in those months. Seasonally adjusted retail sales fell 0.9 percent in December from November.
Friday's trading in the Czech koruna was affected in the afternoon by a verbal intervention of the CNB's vice-governor Oldrich Dedek. He warned that the current trend of the exchange rate did not correspond to real economic conditions and Dedek did not exclude possibility of CNB's open market operations and another rate cut to eliminate excessive appreciation of the currency. The koruna reacted by a fast fall, from 31.64 CZK/EUR to 31.90 CZK/EUR.
Polish consumer prices rose 0.8% in January from December as food and household prices accelerated. Food prices were driven up by vegetable prices. The government also increased fuel and cigarette excise taxes, while higher water prices boosted household costs.
Hungarian consumer prices increased by 1.3% from December. Rising vegetable and fruit costs are boosting consumer prices in Hungary as well as in Poland and the Czech Republic. The annual rate was 6.6%, the lowest since April 1987.
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