Recently, CEE currencies have remained steady. The Czech National Bank kept rates unchanged as expected on Thursday and, in line with our predictions, it gave no sign it would intervene soon. The FX trading remained subdued on Friday as well as on Monday due to Easter holidays.
Today´s he most important data releases have been purchasing managers indices in Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic. In Poland, the PMI fell to 48 in March from 48.9 in February and hit the 5-month low. This result is disappointing as the index remained below 50, signalling contraction of industrial activity for the 12th month in a row. On the top of it, manufacturing activity shrank at the fastest pace in six month. Although direct reaction of the Polish zloty was barely visible, we believe that lower than expected PMI might hurt market perception of the chances of Polish economy to bottom out from the slowdown and might recall speculations about another rate cut. Neither the Czech PMI shows positive outlook. The Czech purchasing managers’ index dipped to 49.1 in March from February’s 49.9.
Nevertheless this number was not surprising; given recent weaker PMI in the Eurozone and Germany, it was only slightly below market forecast
In contrast, Hungarian PMI (compiled under a different methodology) surprised positively, when it rose to 55.7. Nevertheless, we would not overestimate the possible impact of this number on the market, as the improvement was largely due to the seasonal impacts.