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Polish Industry Grows First Month in Three on Extra Working Day

May 21 (Bloomberg) -- Polish industrial output rose for the first time in three months in April as an extra working day helped boost production.

Output advanced 2.7 percent from a year earlier after dropping 2.9 percent in March, the Central Statistical Office in Warsaw said today. The median estimate of 27 economists in a Bloomberg survey was for a 3 percent increase. Output fell 2.3 percent from March.

The European Union’s largest eastern economy expanded at the slowest pace in four years in the first quarter as the euro area’s longest-ever recession curbs demand for exports. To combat the slowdown, the central bank has cut interest rates by 175 basis points since November to a record-low 3 percent.

“The recovery from a disastrous March is mainly due to positive impact of the number of working days,” Ernest Pytlarczyk, chief economist at BRE Bank SA in Warsaw, wrote in an e-mailed report before the data were released. “It’s not a clear reversal of the trend.”

The zloty, the fourth-worst performer this year against the euro among emerging-market currencies tracked by Bloomberg with a 2.5 percent decline, weakened after the data to 4.1902 at 2:06 p.m. in Warsaw, down 0.1 percent. The yield on the 10-year government bond fell six basis points to 3.293 percent.

Producer prices fell 2 percent from a year earlier in April, the statistics office said today. Prices have fallen for six straight months as companies grapple with weaker demand.

Manufacturing shrank the most in 45 months in April, HSBC Holdings Plc. said May 2 in its purchasing managers’ survey. The contraction deepened because of “sharper declines” in output and new orders, while employment fell for an eighth month, HSBC said.

“Weakness in domestic orders and deteriorating foreign demand mean the manufacturing sector isn’t showing signs of recovery,” Rafal Benecki, chief economist at ING Bank Slaski SA, said by e-mail.

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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