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Consumer mood not affected by optimistic macroeconomic conditions


The improvement in macroeconomic conditions observed in the final months of 2009 fed through into consumer sentiment, which brightened somewhat in the fourth quarter and led to a rise in consumers’ willingness to spend. However, readiness to make purchases of durable goods remained very limited. This is well illustrated by data on retail sales, which accelerated considerably overall in December, but sales of furniture, radio, TV and household appliances suffered a deep decline for the fifth month in a row. With gradually improving economic conditions and with a low reference base, we expect the solid rate of retail sales growth to be maintained in the months ahead. Nevertheless, we forecast that in 2010 as a whole retail sales growth will not exceed 5%. That is because sales will be held back by persisting weakness in the labour market (especially by continued rise in the jobless rate) and by the expiry of the German government’s car scrappage incentive scheme, which was a major factor supporting retail sales in Poland in 2009.

Paweł Sionko
Construction Market Analyst, PMR

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