Polish May Retail Sales Accelerate From 22-Month Low

(Corrects May sales growth in second paragraph.)

Polish retail sales accelerated in May, rebounding from the lowest growth in 22 months in April, when an Easter holiday damped demand.

Sales advanced 7.7 percent from a year earlier, compared with a 5.5 percent increase in April, the Central Statistical Office in Warsaw said today. The median estimate of 23 economists surveyed by Bloomberg was 7.5 percent. Retail sales rose 0.9 percent from the previous month.

“The rebound in May sales was a return to normal levels after the April figure got depressed by an early Easter,” Maciej Reluga, chief economist at Bank Zachodni WBK (BZW) said before the release.

The Narodowy Bank Polski, the only central bank in the European Union to raise borrowing costs this year, increased the benchmark seven-day rate to 4.75 percent in May to combat inflation, which has exceeded the upper end of its target range for 17 months. Policy makers left the rate unchanged this month, saying they may consider raising it if inflation stays elevated.

The zloty was little changed after the data, trading at 4.2562 per euro at 10:07 a.m. in Warsaw, 0.2 percent stronger on the day. The average yield on the 10-year government bond due in 2021 rose 1 basis point to 5.17 percent.

The retail data are the last in the series of statistics before a July 3-4 rate meeting. Policy makers are seeking more evidence that economic growth will slow to 2.5 percent this year from 4.3 percent last year, helping contain inflation.

Since the June 6 meeting, inflation unexpectedly decelerated to 3.6 percent in May, the slowest in 15 months, while jobs growth at companies with more than nine workers held steady at 0.3 percent and wages rose 3.8 percent, less than the 4 percent median forecast.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dorota Bartyzel in Warsaw at dbartyzel@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net

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