Construction output in real terms grew in December by 2.9% (6.7% after workdays adjustment) and labour productivity increased by 7.8%. Total construction output for the whole 2000 grew by 5.3% (5.7% after workdays adjustment), while labour productivity went up by 10.8%.
Despite being three workdays shorter than in 1999, December 2000 saw higher sales of services in telecommunication (+33%), air transport (+17.0%) and data processing (+14.2%). Sales in retail trade grew 4.1% and fell down in transport (2.2%).
The Czech government said on Wednesday it will sell four third-generation (UMTS) mobile phone licences at CZK 5 billion ($135 million) each, despite warnings from current operators that the price is far too high. The auction should take place in June or July with all licences seen awarded in July or September. All three GSM operators have complained that the CZK 5 billion price tag is too high and will hurt fast-growing telecommunications business.
The Czech koruna moved in the range 34.45-55 to the euro on Wednesday, and dealers said they expect the currency to rise on continuing euro weakness this week. Late on Wednesday the koruna rose to 34.46/49 to the euro from the morning's 34.49/53 and 34.55/59 late on Tuesday. Koruna/dollar fell to 37.55/58 from the morning's 37.50/53 and from 37.48/50 late Tuesday.
The state 6.40/10 bond was flat from late Tuesday at 99.05/35, 6.54/49 percent. The state 6.75/05 was flat at 102.85/15, yielding 5.93/84 percent. The Finance Ministry said on Monday the central bank will auction a CZK 5 billion tranche of the 6.75/05 state bond on Friday, with yield to be determined through a multiple price American-style auction. On Wednesday afternoon the Czech central bank said it would hold a Dutch-style auction offering a minimal CZK 8 billion tranche of 26-week treasury bills on Thursday, with yield limit on bids at 5.29 percent. The yield in the previous auction of 26-week T-bills on January 4 was 5.45 percent, with the limit set at 5.50 percent.