The CE currencies appreciated after EU leaders had struck a budget deal as regional countries have been among largest recipients of European funds that significantly improve their external balances. The koruna is still fighting with the 200-day moving average at 25.25 EUR/CZK.
Lower than expected Czech CPI inflation, published today, could have negative impact on the koruna. Consumer prices rose less than expected in January, by 1.3% m/m and 1.9% y/y. Prices were pushed up mainly by higher VAT that affected almost all consumer goods and services. Next in line were price adjustments related to housing - rents deregulation, energy and water. Weak consumer demand has remained a strong brake for a faster price growth in the Czech Republic. We do not expect any visible improvement of the financial situation of households in the months ahead. Hence the January inflation has set a bar for the rest of this year. It is evident that inflation should move close to the CNB forecast, which sees inflation at 2% at the beginning of the year. The central bank can smoothly continue its policy of wait and see and keep interest rates close to zero.