- Construction output rose 12.1 % in the Czech Republic year-on-year in June. After adjustment for a different number of workdays, the growth rate further improves to +13.5 %. Seasonally adjusted month-on-month change in output was +1.7% in June. The average monthly nominal wage increased 4.7 % year-on-year (to CZK 14753), while the average real wage fell by 0.8 %. Labor productivity improved by 12.3 % and unit labor costs fell by 6.8 % year-on-year in June. Ongoing strong performance of the construction sector was owing to continuing intensive work on transport infrastructure, production facilities of foreign investors and retail outlets. Planning offices issued 11.4 % less planning permissions year-on-year in June but the estimated price of the projected buildings and structures (CZK 27.8bn) was 25.7 % higher.
- The Senate passed a government draft of the law on financial control in civil service complying with the requirements of the European Union and opening the door for the closure of the financial control chapter in the Czech Republic's pre-accession talks. If signed by the President, the law will come into force in January 2002. The financial control chapter could have been closed already in 2000 but the Deputies failed then to pass the bill. The institutions responsible for the financial control will be tax offices, control sections at ministries, and the Supreme Audit Office.
- Sibur, a petrochemical unit of Russian gas producer Gazprom announced its firm decision to bid for Unipetrol, perhaps in coalition with a major international company. Sibur is interested exclusively in chemical assets, therefore the potential partner should be active in the oil business. Sibur already discussed its intention with Royal Dutch/Shell, ENI and Russian oil groups. One of the latter, Lukoil, expressed an interest in some of Unipetrol's assets earlier this year. The Czech cabinet declared a tender for 62.99 % of Unipetrol on Thursday, potential investors should contact the government's advisers, HSBC, by September 7.
- The Czech crown tracked the euro/dollar on Thursday. Late on the day the crown weakened to 33.86/89 against the euro from 33.81/84 late Wednesday. The crown/dollar firmed to 38.11/13 from 38.52/54 late Wednesday.
- Czech bonds fell slightly after poor July CPI data released on Wednesday. The state 6.95/16 bond fell down 30 basis points from late Wednesday at 98.80/10, yielding 7.08/04 %. The state 6.75/05 dipped 5 basis points to 99.95/25 yielding 6.75/65 %. The yield in CNB’s Dutch-style auction of 39W treasury bills was 6.10 % compared with 5.26 % in the previous auction held on June 21. The CZK 8bn tranche was heavily oversubscribed. The 12M PRIBOR rose 22 basis points on Thursday to 6.15 %.
| late August 9|| bond yield || late August 8|
| State 6.75/05||99.95/25||6.75/65||100.00/30|
| State 6.95/16||98.80/10||7.08/04||99.10/40|