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CEE currencies corrected previous gains, Czech and Hungarian inflation remains low

CEE currencies corrected previous gains, Czech and Hungarian inflation remains low

11.6.2013 12:41

Central European currencies, temporary boosted by last week´s intervention of the Polish central bank, corrected their gains yesterday. The correction was supported by two factors. First of all, the S&P , a rating agency, decided to change its outlook on the U.S. government debt, from negative to neutral. Following that decision, the forint proved to be the regional currency most sensitive to dollar gains. The Hungarian currency weakened by almost 1 %, nevertheless the technical barrier 300 EUR/HUF was not touched (yet). The Polish zloty reduced its previous gains as well, but it has remained stronger compared to its position before the intervention. The Czech koruna was hit by the release of the CPI data. Czech inflation rose by 1.3 % y/y in May, considerably less than in April (1.7 % y/y). Annual inflation in May stayed 0.3 % below the CNB forecast. The fall in prices was mainly due to telecommunication services and fuel prices. According to the central bank, the data represent an anti-inflationary risk for the CNB forecast and the bank expects inflation to remain below its 2 % target this year. CPI data together with CNB comments brought back speculations on CNB fx interventions.
Unlike in Poland, the Czech national bank repeated that it might intervene to weaken the koruna several times in the past.

In Hungary, the May’s inflation remained subdued, too. According to the Hungarian statistical office, consumer prices grew by 1.8% y/y or slightly below market consensus. Detailed data showed that the decline was mostly due to dropping fuel prices. Food, in contrast, became more expensive, which is not surprising given the last year’s bad crop. Overall, fresh inflation data brought little surprise and hence should have only small impact on the forint and MNB policy.

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