Yesterday, the best performing currency in the Central Europe was yesterday the Polish zloty. The currency was supported by stronger-than–expected January’s retail sales, whose annual jump by 3.1% (the market forecast was just 0.9%).Results of the retail sales confirm our view that the Polish economy is bottomingout and the easing cycle has approached its end. On the other hand, Friday‘s data on GDP growth for the last quarter of 2012 may still stir things up.
Contrary, in Hungary the situation is different. The forint remains under the pressure due to the uncertainty over a new MNB governor. Although Prime Minister Orban again said that he was not planning to reshuffle his government,the most likely candidate seems to be his Economy Minister Gyorgy Matolcsy. A new MNB governor should be known on Friday and he will take his office next Monday. So today, it is the last MNB meeting where current governor Simor will be present. We, in line with market expectations, believe that the central bank will cut its base rate for the seventh time in a row by 0.25% to 5.25%. Apart from local events, currencies in Central Europe are likely to be affected by results of Italian elections. Voting results are inconclusive, which can plunge the country in a political deadlock. This may bring more uncertainty to markets and hence the pressure on CEE region.