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Poland Unexpectedly Has Balanced Current Account on Exports

July 15 (Bloomberg) -- Poland unexpectedly posted a balanced current account in May as exports grew faster than forecast and funding from the European Union outweighed payments to the bloc.

Today’s figure for the current account, the broadest measure of money flowing into and out of the economy, compares with a year-earlier deficit of 938 million euros ($1.3 billion), the central bank in Warsaw said today in a statement. The median forecast from 22 economists surveyed by Bloomberg was for a deficit of 755 million euros.

“The strength of exports was a real surprise,” Maciej Reluga, chief economist at Bank Zachodni WBK, said by phone after the release. “This isn’t sustainable, though. As the economies of western Europe slow this year, we’ll see Polish export growth falling back.”

Exports grew almost 21 percent from a year earlier to 12.2 billion euros, compared with the median estimate of 11.5 billion euros, the central bank said. Imports rose 21.9 percent to 13.1 billion euros. Transfers from the EU were 1.8 billion euros. In May 2010, Poland paid 238 million euros into the bloc’s budget.

“As long as the German recovery remains so strong, we should see around 10 percent export growth over the remainder of this year,” Reluga said.

Economic growth in Germany, the EU’s largest economy and Poland’s biggest trading partner, is forecast to slow to 3.4 percent this year and 2.5 percent next, from 3.5 percent in 2010, the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said in a May report. The 3.4 percent growth rate for this year is still the fastest among Group of Seven nations.

To contact the reporter on this story: Katya Andrusz in Warsaw at kandrusz@bloomberg.net Nathaniel Espino at nespino@bloomberg.net

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

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