Consumer prices increased less than expected last month and annual inflation still hovers below central bank’s target despite supply shocks taking higher oil and food prices. The latest inflation data support dovish stance of the central bank. In April, the main contribution to the increase in the price level came from seasonally higher prices of clothing and footwear (+2.7% mom). Gasoline prices rose by 1.7% mom and reached new highs supported by a spike in oil prices. Brent increased from 117 USD/barrel at the end of March to 125 USD/barrel a month later. Food prices did not stop their way up and added 0.4% mom. Ex food & energy inflation (adjusted also for changes in regulates prices) remains negative and does not signal any inflation pressures coming from the demand side. Thus, the CNB can stay relaxed. Interest rates can be raised in Q3 at first, but the central bank can afford to wait until Q4.
CPI Actual (Mar): 0.3% mom; 1.6% yoy
Consensus: 0.4% mom; 1.7% yoy
Previous (Mar): 0.1% mom; 1.7% yoy