Final Word from Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Low wages and a cheap currency are two factors that can turn a country in the heart of Europe into an investor's paradise. That's exactly what happened to the Czech Republic soon after Nov. 7, 2013. The Czech National Bank devalued the crown to Kč 27/euro and gave foreign investors a guarantee that the exchange rate would remain at that low level for an indefinite period. The unemployment rate at the time was 6.9%. Investors started flocking into the country, and by the time the devaluation was suspended in April 2017, the jobless rate had fallen to 3.3%. It has remained at about that level ever since. Gov. Jiří Rusnok is now using the tight labor market that the CNB itself orchestrated as an excuse for raising interest rates. The low wages are long gone, as is the cheap currency, and so will at some point soon likely be the low unemployment rate. The question that will linger for many years is why the CNB had to carry out this exercise in a way that will end up hurting so many people. [ Czech Republic central bank investors ]

Glossary of difficult words

to flock in/into - to move into some place or thing in large numbers;

to orchestrate - to plan or coordinate the elements of (a situation) to produce a desired effect;

to linger - to be slow to die or disappear.

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