The Czech crown surprisingly extends its gains despite fresh dovish comments coming form the CNB. Recall that CNB Vice-governor Tomsik said in its interview for Bloomberg that the euro area debt crisis might keep official rates lower for longer.
Tomsik stressed that he saw weak domestic demand and that an expected VAT rate hike would hardly affect inflation expectations. In his view a VAT hike could actually reduce disposable income of households and thus it would become antiinflationary factor. So Tomsik firmly stands (together with Governor Singer) in the dovish camp, which still has the majority within the CNB Bank Board.
Yesterday, the Hungarian central bank decided to keep rates unchanged at 6.00%, in line with expectations. The Hungarian central bank decided unanimously to keep their policy on hold and added that future rate decisions will be influenced by developments in the European debt crisis and domestic inflation. The debt crisis in Europe has driven investors to seek for safe haven, which supported the Swiss franc. The Hungarian forint weakened to a new low against the CHF, ramping up repayments on Swiss franc loans taken out by many households in Hungary. The persistently strong franc could be a drag on consumption growth. The bank concluded, after keeping rates unchanged for six months, that they may need to stay on hold for a sustained period to bring inflation down to the 3% goal by end 2012.
The Hungarian forint weakened in the morning, supported by strong retail sales data, but was unaffected by the rate decision. Also government bonds were little changed after the MNB decision.
The Polish zloty took advantage of the weaker US dollar on Tuesday and posted modest gains. The EUR/PLN cross rate was hovering around the 4 EUR/PLN level during the session. Hence, the zloty relatively easily digested weaker than expected retail sales data, showing retails sales grew by 10.9% in June. Regarding the unemployment statistics, the data showed expected decrease by 0.4 percentage point to 11.8%, i.e. a touch higher than in June 2010 (11.7%).
Poland’s Minister of Finance Jacek Rostowski unveiled the plan to reduce the public debt to 40% of GDP by 2018. Let us remind that debt reached about 53.5% of GDP last year and that breaching 55% level, would trigger automatic austerity measures.
As far as the zloty’s trading is concerned, the domestic calendar is empty. Hence, the zloty should focus mainly on the US debt crisis in sessions ahead. In our view, heightened risk aversion might further weigh on the Polish currency.