March 23, 2020 / 4:20 PM / 5 days ago

Czech government approves plan to raise budget deficit five-fold to $7.7 bln

PRAGUE, March 23 (Reuters) - The Czech government has approved a plan to raise this year’s central budget deficit five-fold to 200 billion crowns ($7.73 billion), the finance ministry said on Monday.

The plan, a response to measures aimed at slowing the spread of the new coronavirus that have significantly reduced economic activity, must be approved by parliament.

The finance ministry said it expected the economy to drop by 5.1% this year compared to 2.2% growth seen in the original budget. (Reporting by Jan Lopatka, Editing by Michael Kahn)

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