A host of key statistical figures will be released in Hungary in the next few days. Besides the latest GDP reading for the fourth quarter we’ll have inflation data for January 2018, and then Standard & Poor’s may surprise Hungary with a rating upgrade. Investors will not be bored elsewhere, either, with growth and CPI data in the focus this week. On Monday
, we’re off to a slow start. Only the National Bank of Hungary (MNB) will publish its statistics on government security holdings then the Central Statistical Office (KSH) will release its December stats for the construction sector, which should reveal if the previous month’s over 30% growth was sustained also in the last month or not.
The rest of the week will be full of key releases. On Tuesday
morning, for instance, the MNB will publish its preliminary statistical balance sheet, the key information in which will be whether the cabinet started to replenish its ready cash (KESZ) reserves at the start of the year or not. Also, the stats office will publish its latest (revised) data for industrial production, the importance of which will be overshadowed by the January CPI reading that could exert an impact also on the forint exchange rate after its depreciation over the last few days. If the KSH published a headline figure that is higher than December’s 2.1% yr/yr print, it would put pressure on the central bank that seems resolute to maintain its base rate on hold for years to come. Elsewhere in the world, eyes should be kept on Britain’s inflation that - after hawkish comments by the Bank of England last week - could influence the GBP. On Wednesday
, GDP data will be coming in by the dozen in the first half of the day. For us, of course, the Hungarian reading stands out. Third quarter GDP grew by 3.9% yr/yr, and the majority of analysts believe growth picked up in Q4 therefore it could have come in at over 4.0%. Q4 GDP readings will be released in a host of European countries on this day, and Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, will publish a summary of these at 11 A.M. In the afternoon, inflation data will be published in the USA, which also deserve the attention of forex investors. On Thursday,
the Government Debt Management Agency (ÁKK) will hold its biweekly bond auction that should reveal whether the rise in yields on the secondary market over the last few weeks has filtered down to the primary market as well or not. Industrial production stats are also due out in the U.S. in the second half of the day. On Friday
, we’re left with hardly any releases, although investors are likely to keep an eye on retail sales figures in the United Kingdom. S&P is expected to release its rating review for Hungary late on Friday, which will be the first such review this year. Last August, S&P was the first to raise its outlook on Hungary’s sovereign credit rating last August, i.e. it should be the first of the major rating agencies to upgrade Hungary within the foreseeable future. Front page photo by Shutterstock