The Czech rate of unemployment grew to 8.5% in November, from 8.4% in October. The rise was, in fact, rather a mirage, as the number of unemployed barely budged from 437 thousand in October to 439 thousand in November. What did change in November, though, is the number of job-offers that fell by 8% from October to November's 56 thousand.
Consumer prices, measured by the CPI index, fell 0.1% m-to-m in November. Headline inflation thus fell to 4.2% y-o-y. Net inflation reached -0.1% m-to-m and the annual index fell to 2.4%, close to the lower bound of the CNB's inflation target for the year-end 2001 (2-4%). The price fall was precipitated by falling fuel prices (-4.2% m-to-m) and by modest decrease of food prices (-0.1% m-to-m).
The Czech government yesterday decided to start talks on its purchase of 24 fighter jets with the British-Swedish BAE System consortium. According to a statement made by BAE Systems executive director for Europe Julien Scopes in August, the Czech government is to pay for 24 planes less than CZK 50 bn.
The Czech Statistical Office will release GDP figures for the third quarter 2001. We expect an increase by 3.5%, year-on-year. The CSO will also publish a data about industrial production in October. Our forecast is 7.0%, y-o-y.
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