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The zloty ended Tuesday’s session in the green

13.9.2006 10:10

The zloty ended Tuesday’s session in the green despite the disappointing trade balance and C/A numbers. The current account deficit came in at a massive EUR – 794 m. as the TB dropped from the 160 m surplus in June to 761 m deficit in July with buoyant imports almost entirely behind the result.

The 27% rise (in imports) may be take as a sign that domestic demand is gaining strength but given the far from spectacular retail sales results we would be cautious to judge whether July’s result was the corollary of the long awaited consumption boom. We have of course seen more than healthy investment performance recently, which we believe continued into the first month of 3Q, but more data will be needed to assess whether the rise in import dynamics and the continued slowdown in exports was due to rising domestic demand or was the result of one-off factors.

At the moment, it seems at least equally likely that the strengthening of the zloty may have accelerated the growth of import orders in the second half of July. Since then the zloty returned to the 4.0 EUR/PLN area bringing some relief to exporters and possibly hurting imports. If so, the disappointing July number could be followed by a strong result in August. In any case it’s still far too early to draw binding conclusions as to a potential change in the (positive) external balance trend that we have seen so far this year. The market seems to see things in equally bright colors – after a knee jerk reaction from the zloty all the losses were more than reversed and the unit ended the day higher against the euro than ahead of the release.

We could see some buying early in the morning today after PM Jaroslaw Kaczynski informed last night that Zyta Gilowska would return to the government next week. However since Gilowska has not yet made the call herself in the end the zloty should stay range-bound ahead of the all-important inflation data tomorrow and, if these fail to inspire, ahead of the US CPI data on Friday.

(CSOB - Investment research)

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