Polish GDP Will Accelerate as Crisis Ends, Tusk Says

Poland’s economy may grow faster than the government’s forecast of 1.5 percent this year as the country emerges from the European crisis, Prime Minister Donald Tusk said today.

The government expects gross domestic product to expand faster than 2 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier and by 3 percent in the first three months of 2014, Tusk told a business forum in Krynica, southern Poland. Economic growth quickened to 0.8 percent in the second quarter from 0.5 percent in January-March, the Warsaw-based Central Statistical Office said on Aug. 30.

“The crisis in Europe is ending but in Poland we can say that we’ve already fended it off,” Tusk said in a speech opening the Krynica Economic Forum. “There won’t be any recession or stagnation here.”

The prime minister’s 2013 forecast outstrips the 1.1 percent median estimate in a Bloomberg survey last month of 43 economists, who predicted Poland would post its slowest growth rate in at least 17 years. Industrial output in the European Union’s biggest eastern economy grew at the fastest pace in 18 months in July, while new manufacturing orders in August soared the most since March 2011, HSBC Holdings said in a survey published yesterday.

“The PMI data show the improving growth outlook for the second half and next year,” Tusk said.

Win-Win Strategy

The government is working on a “post-crisis” economic strategy, Tusk said, starting with an overhaul of its pension system to “lift the crushing fiscal burden” of transfers to privately managed pension funds. The cabinet’s decision on the revamp will be announced tomorrow at noon, he said.

Poland needs a “win-win” strategy to coax consumers into boosting spending, building on export growth and signs employers have started hiring, according to the premier. He added that the government plans to introduce a simplified tax system by 2016, without providing details.

The growth program will help the government achieve its goal of a 2 trillion-zloty ($618 billion) economy in 2017, doubling its size since the onset of global financial crisis in 2008, Tusk said.

(Corrects zloty-dollar conversion in last paragraph.)
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