The Hungarian forint extended its previous losses on Friday and fell to an 11- month low against the euro on worries about next moves of the central bank that had cut interest rates to a new all-time low earlier last week. Meanwhile, revised data from the Polish Statistical Office (GUS) on GDP growth in the third quarter of the year confirmed the flash forecast released in the middle of November (+1.9 %
Y/Y) as well as our hypothesis that household consumption had also significantly contributed to growth for the first time after a long while. Household consumption, along with a slightly positive contribution of investment, was likely the most positive information, which placed Polish recovery (with GDP growing about 1.4 % Y/Y in 2013) on solid footing. The figures had, however, no immediate impact on trading.
Fresh PMI figures released today reflect further improvement in business conditions in manufacturing in all three Central European economies. The Polish index hit its highest level since April 2011 and the fastest rise in the sub index of new orders since the start of this year unveiled strong demand both from domestic and export markets. The Czech PMI hit a 21 year high on yet another
sharp increase in new export orders. The Hungarian PMI also improved and reached 52.6 in November.
On Friday, interesting news came from the Czech Energy Regulatory Office which announced that the price of electricity would fall by 10.9 on average as of January 2014. This fact may push Y/Y inflation below zero at the beginning of 2014 and trigger market speculations about a shift of the koruna´s exchange rate “target” by the central bank (which, however, in our view, will not happen).