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Czech report Czech report
by Euro Reporter
2012-01-07 06:57:43
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Manufacturing contracts as decline in new orders quickens

Czech manufacturing contracted for a second month in December as new orders declined at a faster pace, an industry gauge showed. The HSBC Czech Republic Manufacturing PMI was 49.2, compared with 48.6 in November, “indicating a slower overall contraction of the sector” the bank said today in an e-mailed report. A result greater than 50 signals overall growth.

“New business has fallen for two months running, and the latest contraction was the strongest since July 2009,” the bank said in the report, compiled by Markit, a financial information services company. “New export orders also declined for the second successive month, with firms commenting widely on the crisis in Europe affecting demand for goods.”

Czech economic growth (CZGDPSAY) depends on demand for its products from the European Union as the bloc buys about 80 percent of the country’s exports, with Germany accounting for a third. The central bank weighed a worsening economic outlook against accelerating inflation (CZCPYOY) when its board voted unanimously to leave the benchmark interest rate at a record-low 0.75 percent for a 13th meeting on Dec. 21.


Coalition party wants higher taxes

Public Affairs, the smallest party in the Czech Republic’s ruling coalition, want to raise income taxes. Necas is against raising direct taxes and would prefer an increase in levies including value-added tax if the government needs to boost revenue to meet its budget-deficit target; the newspaper cited him as saying in an interview.


Czech Republic Sees Rise of ‘Jedi Knights’ as Religious Movement

The Czech census, given out in March, is conducted once a decade. Czech news site Ceska Pozice explains that few findings were surprising: the population is aging, more diverse, better educated, and flocking to privately owned homes. Oh, but there is a rise of the Jedis. Conducted once every ten years, the Czech census is much like any other nations. Wrapping up gender, economic and education details, it’s the easiest way to measure the nuts and bolts of a population. The official document usually strays from any cultural or preference-based details – aside from, perhaps, your choice between cat and dog.

But data gatherers found something striking about religious beliefs. Filed under the “religion” section, 15,070 Czechs wrote the choice: Jedi Knight. The optional religion part allowed citizens to fill in their preference, meaning the more than 15,000 had no distinct selection bias. A Facebook campaign encouraged people to fill in the Star Wars spirituality on their census form. And census organizers didn’t ignore their preference. “We included this option despite a fierce debate over whether it’s serious or not. But it’s not up to statisticians to say what is or is not a religion,” Stanislav Drapal, deputy head of the statistical office said

While the 15,000 supposed practitioners represent a tiny fraction of the Czech population – a mere .14% – it’s a recognizable blip on the religious scale. The largest proportion of Jedis was found in the Czech capital, Prague, where 3,977 Jedis live, making up .31% of the city’s population. The rise of the Jedi religion, whether serious or not, shows a strong turn away from organized religion. Nearly 1.1 million people declared themselves Roman Catholic on this census, making it the country’s most popular religion. But that’s a sharp decline from the 2001 numbers, where 2.8 million listed themselves as Roman Catholic, Radio Prague notes.

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