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Lewiatan Business Index slips in March


The annual PKPP Lewiatan Business Index shed two points in March to stand at 53 points, the Polish Confederation of Private Employers (PKPP) Lewiatan announced. At the same time, the quarterly index gained three points to 49. The narrowing of the gap between the annual and quarterly indeces suggests a more even pace of economic growth throughout 2011, PKPP experts commented.

According to the Confederation, the improvement in the quarterly index reflects robust performance from industrial output and retail sales, which continued their strong upward trend in Q1 in defiance of market expectations; as well as resilient exports. In general, there were no signs of weakening activity compared with Q4 2010, with domestic demand still supported by a steadily rising wage bill. Furthermore, a rebound in investment is expected in the coming months, as companies finally step up capex activity after two years of caution. This appears all the more likely in view of the state of corporate finances, which improved even further in Q1 after posting record-high profits in 2010.

However, several causes for concern remain, notably high commodity prices, political instability in key parts of the world, and rising unemployment. Nevertheless, PKPP Lewiatan expects that GDP growth will remain at least at year-ago levels in the coming quarters.

The PKPP Lewiatan Business Index is constructed on the basis of market prognoses prepared by Poland’s leading economists for the current quarter, half year and full year. It is measured on a 100-point scale, where a score of 50 corresponds to an economic growth forecast of around 4% of GDP annually.

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