Hungary: shift towards tightening will be limited

Hungary’s central bank will probably use Tuesday’s meeting to flag a shift towards tightening and we expect a small hike in the overnight deposit rate in March. But this is likely to be a symbolic gesture more than anything else. Monetary policy will stay extremely loose and we think that interbank rates will be lower than their current level by year-end.
Liam Peach Emerging Markets Economist
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Emerging Europe Economics Weekly

Omicron & tightening cycles, Turkey into the unknown

While a lot is still unknown about the Omicron variant, we don’t think it will prevent central banks from delivering further large interest rate hikes - Poland will be a case in point next week, where we expect a 75bp rate hike. The key exception is Turkey, where the departure of Finance Minister Elvan this week adds to signs that policymakers are not prepared to respond to the recent falls in the lira with an orthodox approach. The currency will remain under pressure and this week’s interventions in the FX market suggest policymakers’ tolerance of a weak lira is being tested. These interventions cannot be sustained and soft capital control may be the next port of call.

3 December 2021

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Turkey & the macro fallout from past “sudden stops”

The history books show that currency crises in other parts of the emerging world in recent decades have resulted in peak-to-trough falls in GDP of around 8% on average and pushed headline inflation up by 25%-pts from its latest trough. The latest crisis in Turkey is likely to result in a downturn that sits towards the milder end of the spectrum and, so long as the lira stabilises, the peak in inflation is likely to be in the region of 25-30% y/y in the next few months.

3 December 2021

Emerging Europe Data Response

Turkey Consumer Prices (Nov.)

The rise in Turkey’s headline inflation rate to 21.3% y/y in November will almost certainly be followed by further chunky increases over the coming months that take it to 25-30% as the effects of the recent currency crises continue to filter through. With no sign that President Erdogan will permit an orthodox policy response in the form of large interest rate hikes, the lira will struggle to recoup its losses and inflation will remain at these very high levels throughout much of the next six-to-nine months.

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Israel Consumer Prices (May)

The rise in inflation in Israel to 1.5% y/y in May was partly driven by food and energy, but there are some signs that underlying price pressures have increased. We think that inflation will rise further this year, but we maintain our view that this will be temporary and that interest rates will stay on hold.

15 June 2021

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Russia: consumer spending recovery has further to run

Russian household spending looks set to rebound strongly this year as “excess” savings are drawn down, credit continues to expand, government support boosts incomes, and the labour market recovers. This will keep inflation elevated for a while. But some of these factors are likely to fade next year which should cause spending growth to slow and help to bring inflation back to target.

15 June 2021

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Ruble gains, Hungary policy rift, stronger CEE currencies

The Russian ruble appreciated to its strongest level against the dollar since last July this week and the balance of forces now increasingly favours further gains, but a lot depends on geopolitics and all eyes will be on the outcome of the Biden-Putin summit next week. Meanwhile, the difference in opinions between Hungary’s central bank and the government about the outlook for policy further suggests that the central bank is taking the inflation fight more seriously and that the tightening cycle will start this month. Finally, we revised up our forecasts for the koruna, zloty and forint this week.

11 June 2021
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