Zloty Advances Most in 7 Weeks as Polish GDP Beats Estimates

The zloty strengthened the most in seven weeks after a report showed Poland’s economy grew at the fastest pace in two years in the first quarter.

The currency gained as much as 0.4 percent against the euro, the most since March 27, and traded 0.2 percent stronger at 4.1834 at 2:50 p.m. in Warsaw. That curbs this quarter’s loss to 0.4 percent, the only negative return among 24 emerging-market currencies tracked by Bloomberg. Yields on 10-year government bonds fell four basis points to an 11-month low of 3.70 percent.

Gross domestic product rose 3.3 percent in the first three months from the same period last year, increasing for the fourth quarter in a row, the statistics office said today. Growth was faster than the 3.1 percent median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 27 economists. The reading confirms the central bank’s forecast for annual expansion of 3.6 percent, Governor Marek Belka told reporters today.

“Good data on growth helps revert the depreciation after low inflation readings in the region,” Rafal Benecki, chief economist at ING Groep NV’s Polish unit, wrote in a note today. He said 4.1750 per euro “seems within reach” for the zloty.

Polish inflation slowed to 0.3 percent in April from 0.7 percent in March, falling below all 29 forecasts in a Bloomberg survey, the statistics office said yesterday. Hungary reported its first negative inflation rate since 1968 two days ago.

Poland had a current account surplus of 517 million euros in March, beating expectations in a Bloomberg survey for a deficit of 193 million euros, the central bank said today. April core inflation eased to 0.8 percent from 1.1 percent in March, the central bank said in a separate statement, meeting the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey.

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