The Czech economy shrunk in the first quarter of 2009 by 3.4% year-on-year, the deepest annual drop in the country’s history, according to government data released Tuesday. The country’s gross domestic product also fell by 3.4% in the first three months of 2009 compared to the previous quarter, ČSÚ said. While the contraction was driven by dropping foreign demand, domestic consumer spending was on the rise in the first quarter, the statisticians said.Continue Reading

Prime Minister Jan Fischer backed a plan on Monday to keep the central government budget deficit below CZK 170 billion next year, the biggest ever but still requiring big savings. Deficits above the EU’s 3% limit — which Finance Minister Eduard Janota said would prevail in 2011 and 2012 — will keep the central European country outside the euro zone for years to come.Continue Reading