Wednesday, May 28, 2008

2 Emerging markets, 2 different stories.

With recent interest rate decisions I had closer look into 2 emerging markets in Central Europe. Hungary and Poland. Hungarian central bank again by 25bp (to 8,5%) to tighten monetary policy. Currently highest interest rates since January 2005. Bank acted mainly because of upward inflation. Its outlook has been raised from 3,6% to 4,2%.

Economic picture doesn't look very well. Retail sales down by -4% or construction down by -11%. Industrial output remains positive but with sharp decline to 4%. Numbers are year on year basis. GDP growth stays already one year below 1%. And with current high interest rates it's hard to see soon any revival.

Polish central bank left rates unchanged on 5,75%. The decision mainly taken by better than expected inflation reading (4%). Unemployment shows very positive trend and latest number is 7,7%. Retail sales up by +17,6. Industrial output up by +15%. Nevertheless GDP growth is expected to slow down from 7% to 5,5%, Poland still shows signs of healthy economy.


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