Central European markets are still dominated by worries about the future of the euro zone. Currencies are weakening slowly, but steadily, while rates are diverging depending on the state of the economies. Normally, this would be an anti-cyclical reaction to external developments, but in case of Hungary, risk appetite is crucial before the IMF deal is secured and so far we have no reliable information when this could happen. The IMF replaced the chief negotiator from Mr Rosenberg to the previous negotiator in Ukraine, whom may have more experience how to deal with domestic political issues.
The Hungarian government also changed several posts, the secretary of the PM office Mr Varga will replace Mr Fellegi as the minister for the IMF agreement. He is seen as a technocrat economist and the PM also emphasised that talks will start soon and the government needs a professional economist.
The April inflation in Hungary came in above expectations at 5.7% Y/Y on higher tobacco and fuel prices. This may reverse in May, when the fuel prices dropped about 5% on cheaper oil and stronger currency, but generally the trend looks to be quite negative as inflation could remain high around 5.5% and may not fall to the central bank’s 3% target by the end of next year.
The Czech National Bank has released its interesting Minutes from its last meeting, which have showed that both Governor Singer and his ally in the Bank Board V. Tomšík voted for a rate hike. We think that this is a very serious message to the market. In our view, Singer and Tomšík could by easily joined by other two Board members during June’s meeting and a 25 bps rate cut could be delivered. So, we currently put our outlook for a stable CNB repo rate under review, while we should meet CNB Board members today at the meeting with analysts – this rendezvous should bring us to a final revision of the interest-rate outlook.