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The Warsaw Voice » Business » September 16, 2009
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Business in brief
September 16, 2009   
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NBP Exchange Rates (September 9, 2009)
1 EUR = zl. 4.1095
1 USD = zl. 2.8363
1 CHF = zl. 2.7086
1 GBP = zl. 4.6696
100 JPY = zl. 3.0646

Unemployment Rises
Unemployment in the euro zone grew to 9.5 percent in July, the highest level since May 1999. Over 15 million people were out of work. In the European Union as a whole (EU27), the unemployment rate was 9 percent, the highest since May 2005, according to Eurostat, the EU statistics office.

Spain was the worst off, with 18.5 percent, followed by Latvia with 17.4 percent and Lithuania with 16.7 percent. The best figures were reported by the Netherlands (3.4 percent), Austria (4.4 percent), and Cyprus (5.5 percent). German job seekers numbered 3.47 million, with unemployment in the country at 8.3 percent. In Poland, unemployment reached 10.8 percent in July, rising by 1.1 percent from June.

Bank Profits Shrink
Poland's banks posted a combined net profit of zl.4.3 billion in the first half of this year, half the figure they reported in the first half of 2008.

The crisis affected commercial banks more than it did cooperative ones. Cooperative bank profits fell by 30 percent to zl.360 million, from zl.488 million in the first six months of last year. Commercial banks reported zl.3.97 billion, with the five largest institutions accounting for a combined zl.3 billion.

Czech Crisis Continues
Industrial production in the Czech Republic dropped by 18.4 percent in July compared with the same month last year. The figure is worse than analysts expected.

Record GDP Drop in Lithuania
Lithuania's economy shrank by 20.2 percent in the second quarter of this year compared with the second quarter of last year, the statistical office in Vilnius has announced. This is the biggest fall in GDP in the European Union. In the first quarter, Lithuania's GDP contracted by 13.3 percent in year-on-year terms.

More Funds for Afghan Mission
The Polish government has decided to increase spending on the country's military contingent in Afghanistan by almost zl.500 million next year. Initially the plan was to spend zl.850 million on maintaining the Polish contingent, but after a political row following the death of another Polish soldier in Afghanistan the figure has been increased to around zl.1.3 billion.

Avio Engine Parts for Boeing
The Avio Polska plant in the southern city of Bielsko-Biała is investing zl.100 million to launch production of modules for Boeing jumbo jet engines.

The company, which has designed and launched the manufacture of turbine parts for the GEnx-2B engine, hopes to generate up to zl.500 million in sales in the coming years from the delivery of the components.

Romania Economizing
Romania's government is cutting spending to meet the requirements of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). A budget revision calls for around 20 billion euros in savings. Romania asked the IMF for help in March, but the recession in the country turned out to be worse than originally expected.

Streetcars for Hungary
The PESA SA factory in the city of Bydgoszcz will supply nine streetcars to the Hungarian city of Szeged. Hungary is the second EU country after Italy to buy streetcars from the Bydgoszcz factory. The wheelchair-accessible cars will cost a total of 16 million euros, 4.6 million euros less than a rival bid from the Czech Republic.
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