Polish Job Growth Slows for Fourth Month as Economy Stumbles

Nov. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Polish job growth at companies employing more than nine workers slowed for a fourth month in October as the biggest economy among the European Union’s eastern members lost momentum.

Employment rose 2.5 percent from a year earlier after increasing 2.8 percent in September, the Warsaw-based Central Statistical Office said today. That matched the median estimate of 21 economists in a Bloomberg survey. Hiring dropped 0.1 percent from the previous month.

Finance Minister Jacek Rostowski last week backed away from the government’s 4 percent growth forecast for next year, saying instead the economy would expand no more than 3.2 percent. The World Bank this week lowered its projection for 2012 growth to 2.9 percent.

“The labor market is getting weaker and this trend should deepen in coming months,” Ernest Pytlarczyk, chief economist at BRE Bank in Warsaw, said in a research note after the release. “What’s reassuring is that the scale of job losses is much smaller than in 2008.”

The zloty weakened after the data to 4.4208 per euro at 2:07 p.m., paring its gains on the day to 0.6 percent after the currency rallied on Prime Minister Donald Tusk’s vow to cut the budget deficit by raising the retirement age, scrapping tax breaks, and boosting payroll levies and taxes on commodities.

Average gross wages rose 5.1 percent from a year earlier in October, slowed from 5.2 percent the previous month. That’s below the 5.3 percent median forecast of 24 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Wages rose 1 percent from September.

To contact the reporters on this story: Katya Andrusz in Warsaw at kandrusz@bloomberg.net Dorota Bartyzel in Warsaw at dbartyzel@bloomberg.net

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