Zloty Gains Most in Week on Polish Retail Sales, German Data

The zloty gained the most in more than a week after Polish retail sales growth in February almost matched a 10-month high and business confidence in Germany, country’s biggest trading partner, unexpectedly improved.

The zloty appreciated 0.6 percent to 4.1252 per euro as of 4:54 p.m. in Warsaw, the steepest advance since March 15. The WIG20 Index (WIG20) of stocks gained 0.8 percent to 2,302.7 as copper miner KGHM Polska Miedz SA (KGH) rose.

Retail sales grew 13.7 percent from a year earlier, the statistics office said today, beating a 9.9 percent median forecast of 21 economists surveyed by Bloomberg in a sign the European Union’s biggest eastern economy will weather a euro- region slowdown. Business confidence in Germany increased to 109.8 in March, the Munich-based Ifo institute said, beating the median forecast of 109.6 in a Bloomberg survey.

“The data confirm that the Polish economy got off to a good start this year,” Grzegorz Maliszewski and Urszula Krynska, economists at Bank Millennium SA in Warsaw, wrote in a note to clients. “The slowdown may not be as big as feared only a few months ago.”

Poland remains on track for the European Union’s fastest growth of 2.5 percent this year, according to forecasts from the European Commission. It expanded 4.3 percent in 2011 for the quickest pace in three years.

To contact the reporter on this story: Piotr Skolimowski in Warsaw at pskolimowski@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Gavin Serkin at gserkin@bloomberg.net

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