As expected, the Board of the Czech National Bank (CNB) raised interest rates by 25bps. Six members voted for the 25bps hike and one for a hike by 50bps. The main two-week repo rate is now 3.0%. The tightening of monetary policy was not a surprise, hence any reactions by the Koruna and bonds was not significant.
The accumulation of inflationary factors forced the CNB to hike rates. The reasons for the higher interest rates were summarized by the CNB’s new forecast for economic growth and inflation. GDP should growth by 5.5 – 6.7% (previous estimates 4.9 – 6.5%) and it should slow down next year to 4.1 – 6.7% (3.8 – 6.8%). The inflation rate should be in the range of 3.5 – 4.9% and should remain the same through the end of 2008 (2.7 – 4.1% according to April’s forecast). Thus the inflation rate could well move above the tolerance range where the inflationary target is 3%.
We expect than the CNB will tighten monetary conditions once more before the end of the year. We will be looking for another hike by 25bps in October.