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Senate To Approve Constitutional Court Nominees, GDP Data Revive Debate On CNB Rate Path

  • The Senate will decide whether to approve President Petr Pavel's three nominees for Constitutional Court judges today. While it is widely expected that Jan Wintr will get the upper house's nod, the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee last week refused to recommend Daniela Zemanova and Josef Baxa. That being said, all three gained the approval of the Human Rights Committee yesterday and iRZHLAS/Radiournal reports that it better represented sentiment in the full upper house. Pavel will appear in the Senate personally to defend his candidates today. This comes as the Constitutional Court undergoes a major overhaul of its composition this year, with four more judges set to vacate their posts. It has been speculated that Josef Baxa could take over from Pavel Rychetsky as the Chief Justice.
  • Komercni Banka write in their morning report that the stagnation of the Czech economy, confirmed by refined Q1 GDP estimates yesterday, lowers the odds of renewed CNB rate hikes. Ceska Sporitelna also see a reduced chance of hikes, albeit they warn that there is "certainly a non-zero probability" of an increase in rates. CSOB write that the latest GDP outturn was "slightly dovish," both in terms of the headline figure and its underlying structure, which may "play a role in the [CNB's] debate." However, they still expect wage pressures to result in rates staying higher for longer. The dovish adjustment to CNB expectations has been supported by comments from Deputy Governor Eva Zamrazilova, who suggested that the government's fiscal consolidation package could result in lower interest rates.

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