Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 05/05/2014 -- The Czech National Bank (CNB)'s decision on November 7 to intervene in the foreign exchange market has led us to adjust our expectations for the CNB's monetary policy trajectory for 2014-2015. We now expect the authorities to continue with FX intervention through the course of 2014, and to begin hiking rates in 2015. At the same time, we reiterate our view that both demand-side and supply side disinflationary pressures have run their course in Q413.
The prospects for a new left-populist coalition comprising the Social Democratic Party (CSSD) and billionaire Andrej Babis' ANO party should further support our expectation for heightened spending, especially on infrastructure projects in 2014-2015. This should help the gradual economic recovery, given that fixed investment has been the weak link in the chain in the past few years. The Czech Republic is on a sustainable fiscal trajectory in the coming years due to low deficits and public debt.
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We reiterate our view that the country will continue to post modest current account deficits for the foreseeable future. The country's status as a regional safe haven will ensure that stable financial inflows continue to cover the country's external financing needs.
Major Forecast Changes
We retain an upbeat outlook for the Czech economy in 2014-2015, and forecast real GDP growth to come in at 1.5% in 2014 and 2.4% in 2015. However, our growth forecast for 2014 remains below consensus as we do not believe export growth will be as robust as consensus projections suggest.
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