- Polish CA deficit undermined the zloty
- Czech leading indicator (‘Flash’) points to gradual improvement in Czech industry
On Tuesday, regional currencies experienced a mixed trading. The most interesting development was seen probably in Poland. As expected, markets paid little attention to inflation figures (which showed a touch higher reading for February at 4.3% Y/Y). However, an unexpectedly deep deficit of the current account clearly surprised markets and weighed on the zloty. According to the NBP, the deficit reached EUR 1.8bn in January. Hence, the zloty posted some losses and returned back above EUR/PLN 4.12.
On the Hungarian front - the EU finally decided to cut off the access to the EU funds, but this action had already been priced in Hungarian assets.
The first February’s estimate of the Czech Flash (our leading indicator for the Czech economy) indicates a gradual improvement in the Czech industry. The Czech Flash rose for the fourth consecutive month (having hit 18.4) and its rate of growth also accelerated again, with the February’s growth being the highest since June 2010. This indicates good prospects for the Czech industry over the next 3 to 4 months. However, there are several risks connected with this optimistic outlook. Firstly, not all the Flash components are equally optimistic. While the Ifo index and new orders from Czech carmakers have significantly improved vis-a-vis their already high levels, the Czech PMI’s sub-index of external orders continued to decline in February. This may partly reflect the outstanding success of the Czech automotive industry, something of a contrast to the rest of the economy. In addition, the Flash is growing from already fairly high levels, and this slightly curbs its growth potential in advance. Last but not least, Germany, the Czech Republic’s neighbour, shows a discrepancy between soft indicators (mood indicators such as Ifo) and hard data from industry.