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Polish Industrial Output Slowed in May in Boost to Rate-Cut Case

Polish industrial-output fell for a third month in four, boosting the case for an interest-rate cut at the central bank’s July meeting.

Production declined 1.8 percent from a year earlier in May, after increasing 2.7 percent the previous month, the Central Statistical Office in Warsaw said today. That’s in line with the median estimate for a 1.9 percent contraction in a Bloomberg survey of 30 economists.

The data follows a report showing inflation at a seven-year low of 0.5 percent and comes two weeks before policy makers gather to decide whether they should cut the benchmark interest rate for an eighth time in less than a year. The economic slowdown is “deeper and more sustained” than policy makers had expected, Governor Marek Belka said June 5.

“The economy isn’t showing recovery signs and things won’t improve for the rest of this year,” Monika Kurtek, chief economist at Bank Pocztowy in Warsaw, said by phone today. “With this data, the Monetary Policy Council should have no problem getting a majority for another rate cut next month.”

The zloty was virtually unchanged after the data, trading at 4.2602 per euro at 2:21 p.m. in Warsaw, less than 0.1 percent stronger from yesterday. The yield on the two-year government bond fell less than one basis point to 2.776 percent, extending its decline from yesterday to five basis points.

In a separate report, the office said producer prices fell 2.5 percent from a year earlier, also in line with the 2.4 percent median contraction predicted by 23 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Prices rose 0.1 percent from the previous month.

The Narodowy Bank Polski trimmed its benchmark rate to a record 2.75 percent on June 5 as policy makers seek to counter the worst economic slowdown in a decade. The European Union’s largest eastern economy will expand 1.5 percent this year, the government forecasts.

The 10-member Monetary Policy Council will hold its rate meeting July 2-3. It will pause in August and resume meetings in September.

Piotr Skolimowski in Warsaw at

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