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Polish GDP Beats Estimates With Fastest Expansion Since 2012

Polish economic growth accelerated to its fastest pace in more than a year in the third quarter as foreign demand improved and consumers boosted spending.

Gross domestic product, unadjusted for seasonal effects, rose 1.9 percent from a year earlier, compared with a 0.8 percent advance the previous quarter, according to an initial estimate published today by the statistics office in Warsaw. Expansion was faster than the 1.6 percent median estimate of 36 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Seasonally adjusted GDP increased 0.6 percent from the previous quarter.

The central bank last week pledged to keep its main interest rate at a record low until mid-2014 or longer to aid a “moderate” recovery from the economy’s worst slowdown in at least a decade. Retail sales rose for a fifth month in September, while manufacturing probably expanded the most in more than two years last month, HSBC Holdings Plc said Nov. 4, citing a survey of purchasing managers.

“It seems the acceleration was due to stronger private consumption and stabilization or even slight improvement in fixed investment,” Piotr Kalisz, chief economist for Poland at Citigroup Inc. in Warsaw, said today by e-mail. “The data will allow the central bank to stick to its wait-and-see mode.”

Zloty Gains

The zloty strengthened after the data, trading at 4.1917 per euro at 11:52 a.m. in Warsaw, a gain of 0.1 percent from yesterday. The yield on the benchmark 10-year notes was unchanged at 4.33 percent after the GDP results, down 4 basis points from yesterday.

“Growth is clearly improving” even as it remains “below potential,” Elzbieta Chojna-Duch, a member of the central bank’s Monetary Policy Council, told TVN CNBC today. “In this situation we can say that this year’s expansion will be close to our projection of 1.4 percent.”

Poland’s faster growth contrasts with its biggest trading partner, the euro area, whose nascent economic recovery lost momentum in the third quarter as German expansion slowed and France’s economy unexpectedly contracted.

In eastern Europe, Czech GDP (CZGDPSAQ) unexpectedly shrank between July and September, while growth in Hungary and Romania accelerated more than analysts predicted, official data released today showed.

Private consumption and exports probably “contributed positively” to Poland’s third-quarter growth, Maria Jeznach, director of national accounts at the statistics office, told reporters today in Warsaw. There’s also “a gradual improvement” in investment by Polish companies, she said.

The statistics office will give a breakdown of the growth figures on Nov 29.

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

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

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