Polish GDP Growth Rebounds in Second Quarter, Beating Estimate

Polish economic growth accelerated from a four-year low in the second quarter, buttressing central bank forecasts that the second half of the year will bring an export-led recovery.

Gross-domestic product grew 0.8 percent from a year earlier, compared with 0.5 percent in the previous quarter, according to a preliminary estimate published today by Central Statistical Office in Warsaw. Expansion was faster than the 0.7 percent median estimate of 34 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. GDP increased 0.4 percent from the previous quarter.

The Warsaw-based Narodowy Bank Polski ended a nine-month cycle of interest-rate cuts in July after improved manufacturing and retail data showed “the road to recovery is open,” Governor Marek Belka told reporters. Poland recorded its third monthly trade surplus in June, the first time this has happened since the data series began in 2000, amid evidence its main export market, the euro area, is pulling out of recession.

“We’ve seen tremendous improvement in the trade balance and the surprise with GDP could be that exports did even better than we thought,” Piotr Bielski, an economist at Bank Zachodni WBK in Warsaw, said by phone before the release. “The past two months have shown enough positive signals that the risk to economic-growth forecasts has shifted to the upside.”

Credit Agricole upgraded its 2013 growth forecast to 1.1 percent from 0.8 percent after the June trade data were released on Aug. 12, citing expectations for faster exports to the euro area and a “slight increase” in private consumption.

“We see a significant acceleration of net exports, which were the only engine for economic growth,” Jakub Borowski, Warsaw-based chief economist for Credit Agricole, said by phone yesterday. “Domestic demand will start contributing in the second half of this year.”

The zloty stayed weaker after the data, trading at 4.1998 per euro at 10:03 a.m. in Warsaw, a decline of 0.1 percent from yesterday. The yield on the benchmark two-year zloty bond rose two basis points to 3 percent.

The growth figures are subject to a revision when the statistics office releases second-quarter GDP data on Aug. 30.

Konrad Krasuski in Warsaw at kkrasuski@bloomberg.net

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