The Czech government is trying to circumvent the rules on public budgets yet again. After approving a CZK 7bn "loan" for the defense ministry, it wants to get a special approval for guarantying loans for the controversial highway project that should be privately financed. The government guarantees are limited at 40% of the state budget revenues, the level that has been already reached.
The French GDP rose by 2.0% y-to-y in Q3/2001, a better than expected result. On the q-to-q basis, growth was 0.5%, significantly above the expected 0.2% and above the Q2/2001 growth of 0.2%. French private consumption held surprisingly well and the French maintained a positive trade balance that supported the economic growth as well.
Czech pension funds allured almost 2.5mil clients by the end of September 2001. The number has been stable in 2001, but has jumped since the tax incentives were legislated in 1999. Pension funds have CZK 47.8bn under management, which is by 50% more than at the end of 1999. Compared to GDP it is paltry still, as pension funds' assets are only around 2% of the Czech GDP.
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