Further gains of the US dollar and rising jitters ahead of this week’s meeting of the Czech National Bank have pushed the Czech koruna to a new low against the euro since more than a month. The aforementioned factors thus overshadowed the positive result of Czech manufacturing PMI for October that had shown ongoing improvement in business conditions (the index had surpassed the neutral 50 points level for the sixth consecutive month). Maybe even more encouraging than the result alone was the fact that the pace of growth of the employment sub-index was the fastest one in more than two years.
Today, PMI indices have been released in Poland and Hungary. While the more volatile Hungarian index slightly fell compared to September, the Polish PMI reached its highest level since 2-1 years, driven by an exceptional increase in new export orders (which hit their all-time in October). The Polish index thus supports trends that have been apparent in “hard” data, that is, a significant pick-up in activity of export-oriented industries such as manufacturing of motor vehicles (producing about 7 percent of gross value added in manufacturing), which grew by 14.3 percent Y/Y in September. After the PMI release, the zloty virtually erased its Friday’s losses and at the time of writing this note is seen at EUR/PLN 4.177.