- Czech industrial output disappoints
- Polish central bank in focus this week
Czech industrial output posted considarable deceleration
The Czech crown more or less ignored the negative economic news from the US (payrolls). It rather took advantage from the weakening US dollar and EUR/CZK broke below the 55-day moving average (currently 24.36). The koruna was also supported by better than expected Czech retail sales.
From here, the question is whether the koruna will be able to make some followthrough gains on this break of the 55-day moving average. This might not be that easy. A first test may come today after disappointing industrial output figures for April (4.7% y/y). This slow growth is disappointing especially given the strong performance of neighbouring Germany. What is really discouraging is the decline in external new orders. As the Czech economy is struggling with persisting high unemployment and weak domestic demand, it may be challenging to withstand weaker demand from abroad. In the week ahead, we are looking for slightly higher inflation figures, but this should not be a major problem for the CNB inflation forecast. We continue to see the first interest rate hike in August.
The forint has a new positive trend
The Hungarian forint continued its slowly appreciating trend in the second half of last week and the pair narrowed the key 265.00 level on Friday. This week’s question will be whether it will be able to break through this or not. This morning, there was a first attempt and the forint climbed to EUR/HUF 264.00 for a moment. Hungary’s eco calendar is otherwise light. This week’s budget and output data could keep the ongoing stories unchanged as the government is trying to rein in the budget deficit to below 3% of GDP.
The EUR/PLN currency pair hovered around the 200 days moving average (3,955 EUR/PLN) on Friday. Hence, the zloty underperformed the rest of the CE region as it did not exploit worse than expected U.S. labor market data, which bolstered the euro. This week’s eye-catcher is undoubtedly the Monetary Policy Council’s meeting scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday. In light of the latest statements, it is likely that the National Bank of Poland may speed up the pace of its tightening by executing most of its rate hikes in the months with high inflation. Today’s negative real interest rates (ex-post, measured by current inflation) are really uncomfortable to at least some Monetary Policy Council members, who believe that, if rates go up faster now, they may remain lower in the end. Hence we believe that another hike will take place on Wednesday, which should play in favor of the Polish currency.