The second quarter GDP caused a massive disappointment with plunging to 1.4% vs consensus expectation of 2.4-2.5% (KH Bank 2.3%), both on adjusted and non-adjusted basis. This is the first guestimate from the Statistical Office, but even it is subject to modification it will remain deeply below the path consensus and we envisaged for this year.
After the 2.7% growth in the first quarter, we really need very sharp rebound in the second quarter to meet central bank's and consensus' forecast for around 2.5% growth rates, but this is not very likely given the ongoing deceleration of consumption and industrial production.
The new scenario - still incorporating turnaround of economic activity in 3Q07 - is that growth will be around the 2% level. This means that government's cautios approach to maintain conservative 2.2% prediction was right, while central bank and market - including us - will have to change their minds.
As CPI was in line with expectations at 8.4% y/y, slower growth path could be a strong argument for Monetary Council members to stick to the 'cautious easing' policy, which in practical terms means bimonthly 25bp rate cuts to 7% till year-end. So, we keep our call for a 25bp rate cut in August, October and December. FRA and T-Bill curves price in less than 75bp cuts for this year, so these could offer some opportunity.
Weak growth and lower rates are negative for the currency usually, but this time EURHUF is also - or mainly - a function of global risk aversion developments, which could be positive if markets calm down abroad. Therefore we can imagine that 253.50 support level will hold on and we maintain our call to sell EUR/buy HUF above 252.00 and keep our forecast for 247-250 range (stop at 253.50).