Latest macro releases from the Czech Republic and Poland showed that external (im)balances have continued to improve this year.
On Friday, the Czech current account showed unexpected surplus of CZK 1.94bn for May. The data showed that the monthly surplus of the foreign trade was not offset by dividend outflows, which were lower than usual – though still significant.
While it is clear that Czech foreign trade is influenced by subdued imports due to current recession, we actually evaluate the recent development of the current account positively. For the first five month of this year the current account is still in surplus, thus the Czech koruna might easily shrug-off threat of external imbalances. Thus, as usual the koruna did not show any reaction to the release of
the balance-of-payments figures on Friday as all possible gains of the currency have been currently curbed by worries of possible FX interventions of the CNB.
Surprisingly high current account surplus for May was also called in Poland on Friday. Like in a case of the Czech Republic the market had expected current account deficit, but it was actually surprised by the surplus of EUR 574mn. However unlike the Czech koruna, the zloty’s reaction was straightforward when it gained 0.5% after the release.
Today, the regional eye-catcher could be again a release in Poland – the June inflation. We believe that the headline inflation rate dropped to its all-time low of 0.2% y/y last month. Month-on-month prices likely fell by 0.1%. The main contributor to this result should be a moderate decline in food prices (-0.5% m/m), whose weight in the consumer basket is almost 25%. In the months to come, prices may go up slightly, but the planned reduction in energy prices for households might curb inflation below 0.5% y/y even during the summer.