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Czech Makro - CPI, Unemployment and Foreign Trade

08.01.2007 9:01
Autor: David Marek

Consumer prices index
On Tuesday, the 9th of January, the Czech Statistical Office is going to publish data on consumer prices in December. According to our projections, the level of prices didn't change, not even by an inch. Higher food prices were offset by cheaper wine, beer and fuel costs. Year-on-year inflation should increase to 1.6% from 1.5% in November. The current inflationary trend and the basic factors which influence future changes in the inflation rate would clearly not be the cause of any interest rate hikes in the near future. The koruna’s exchange rate strength also adds to evidence that the CNB can keep its interest-rate weapons sheathed for a while.

There are usually more job losses at the end of the year. Reorganizations and annual job evaluations are the most common reasons. We can expect that around 52,000 people will have been registered with Labor Offices in December. The raw unemployment rate will probably move up to 7.7% from 7.3% in November. On the other hand and according to our estimates, the seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate will move down by several hundredths of a percent. Favorable employment developments have been mainly helped by the fast economic growth in the Czech economy, which has created new job opportunities. There were around 100,000 reported vacancies at the end of November.

Foreign Trade
According to our estimates, foreign trade in November reached a surplus of CZK 4bn. A significant deceleration of year-on-year export and import dynamics is expected. Both exports and imports will probably move up from their historical peaks. The overall picture of foreign trade should also be positively influenced by terms of trade, i.e. by foreign trade prices which were helped by exogenous factors such as the decline in oil prices. The terms of trade influence can be credited with around CZK 3.3bn of this positive improvement.

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