NBS Monthly Bulletin, September 2011 - Summary
The annual rate of inflation in the euro area, as measured by the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices, increased in September to 3.0%. The exchange rate of the euro against the US dollar depreciated during September in comparison with the previous month. At its October meeting, the ECB’s Governing Council decided to leave the key ECB interest rates unchanged, with the main refinancing rate standing at 1.50%, the marginal lending rate at 2.25% and the deposit rate at 0.75%.
Within the Visegrad Four group, the only country in which the annual rate of HICP inflation was higher in September than in August was Hungary, where it rose to 3.7%; in Poland, the rate fell quite sharply, to 3.5%, and in the Czech Republic it remained unchanged, at 2.1%. Exchange rate movements in the central European region in September were influenced by the situation in financial markets, with the result that the Polish zloty, Hungarian forint and Czech koruna all depreciated significantly against the euro in comparison with the previous month. Key interest rates in Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary were left unchanged in September, with Narodowy Bank Polski keeping the base rate at 4.50%, Česká národní banka at 0.75%, and the Magyar Nemzeti Bank at 6.00%.
In Slovakia, the annual rate of HICP inflation in September increased from the previous month, to 4.4%. This reflected an increased annual rate of change in energy prices, prices of non-energy industrial goods, and services prices. Annual food price inflation remained the same. As for industrial producer price inflation, its annual rate of change in August was slightly slower than in the previous month, reflecting lower growth in manufacturing producer prices and a lower year-on-year decline in energy prices. Prices of construction work and building materials recorded a slower annual rise, as did prices of agricultural products.
The current account deficit in August was lower than in July, due mainly to a higher trade surplus. The current account balance was also positively affected by the current transfers balance, income balance and services balance, which all recorded lower deficits than in the previous month. As for the industrial production index, its annual rate of growth in August was moderately lower month-on-month, as growth in manufacturing production was offset by lower production growth in the mining and quarrying sector and in the electricity, gas, steam and air-conditioning supply sector. The higher annual rate of growth in manufacturing production was driven by a substantial rise in production in the manufacture of transport equipment sector. In the construction sector, the annual rate of change in production declined further in August. Turning to aggregate sales for selected sectors, their annual rate of growth increased in August. The most marked rises were recorded in the sectors of information and communication, transport and storage, and industry. The overall economic sentiment indicator fell in September in comparison with the previous month, owing to declining confidence in industry, services and retail trade as well as a deterioration in consumer confidence.
Nominal wages and real wages recorded a higher year-on-year increase in August than in July. Almost all the sectors under review contributed to the annual growth in nominal wages, and the highest increases were recorded in the sectors of information and communication, construction, and industry. Annual employment growth in August was moderately slower than in July, with most of the sectors under review reporting a lower increase. The rate of registered unemployment fell slightly in August from the previous month, to stand at 13.1%.
Private sector deposits increased in August reflecting mainly sharp growth in deposits of non-financial corporations, as well as a rise in household deposits. In the case of deposits of non-financial corporations, their growth was driven mainly by deposits with up to two years’ agreed maturity and to a lesser extent by demand deposits. Among household deposits, too, there was a rise in deposits with up to two years’ agreed maturity. The deposits of both sectors maintained an annual rate of growth in August, which in the case of deposits of non-financial corporations was substantially higher than in the previous month. The stock of loans to the private sector continued to rise. Lending to non-financial corporations saw an increase in loans with a maturity of between 1 and 5 years. Lending growth to households consisted mainly of a rise in housing loans. The annual rate of change in August was positive for both loans to non-financial corporations and loans to households, with the former recording an increase in comparison with July and the latter remaining unchanged. Deposit rates and lending rates for the private sector were more or less the same in August as in the previous month.
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