Actual (March): 1.0% mom; 6.3% yoy
Consensus: 0.6% mom; 5.8% yoy
Previous (January): February): 0.5% mom; 5.4% yoy
Producer prices increased by 1.0% in March as commodity supply shock continues to drive inflation higher. Expensive oil, rising metal prices and inflation in food prices remain the key factors behind.
Libyan war and unrest in the Middle East countries drove oil price (WTI) from 98 USD/barrel at the end of February to 106 USD/barrel a month later. Prices of refinery production and coke, therefore, increased by 7.4% mom (25.8% yoy) in March. As oil prices went further up at the beginning of April, refinery prices are likely to creep on higher.
Iron, steel and coal are another front of the supply shock. Prices of the steel mills production rose by 4.4% mom (35.5% yoy) last months.
It remains to mention food prices as the last major inflation factor. In March, prices at food factories advanced by 0.9% mom (7.7% yoy). They keep moving higher for 11 months in a row and we can expect them to go on further up as prices of agricultural producers rose by another 2.3% mom (31% yoy).
It is not straightforward to judge the impact of the supply shock that the Czech economy has to face. Rising inflation raises question how firmly are inflation expectations anchored. Moreover, positive figures from labor market and retail sales published recently support hawkish view on the monetary policy. On the other hand, high commodity prices threaten recovery of the small economy depending on the imports of key commodities. So far, we keep our expectation that the CNB will start hiking rates in Q3.