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Survey: executives in Poland gloomier about economy but confident about business


Chief executives at large Polish companies have become sharply more pessimistic about near-term economic prospects, though they remain fairly upbeat about the outlook for their own businesses, according to the sixth edition of the Deloitte Business Sentiment Index. Poland received 118 points on the main composite index, down from 134 in June 2011. It was the deepest fall in confidence among the six Central Europe countries covered by the Index (Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia), all of which also saw a decline in sentiment. Even so, Poland’s score remained above the six-country average of 110 points.

The study shows that 62% of Polish executives expect the domestic economic performance will "slightly deteriorate" during the next six months, up from just 15% in June; 31% expect it to remain unchanged (broadly the same as in June), with just 7% anticipating a slight improvement (down from 42%). None expect a major improvement (compared with 12%). It was the worst result among the six countries covered.

At the same time, 79% of Polish executives judged the financial prospects of their companies as rather positive or definitely positive (48% and 31%, respectively). This was down by 12 points from June, due to a substantial fall in the share of "definitely positive" answers, but was easily the highest among the six countries, well ahead of second-placed Slovakia at 67% (in fact, none of the remaining four countries had more than 50%). As for responses to more specific questions, 62% of executives in Poland described as positive the outlook for revenues during the next 12 months, down from 85% but still higher than in any other country covered; and 79% are optimistic about introducing new products or services in the course of the next year, also better than in the five other countries. A similar pattern was observed with respect to investment (48%, compared with 38% in second-placed Czech Republic). By contrast, Polish executives have become less optimistic than most about the outlook for job creation, with just 10% describing it as positive (down from 36%), the same as in Romania and lower than in the four other countries.

The survey was conducted between 18 August and 14 September among chief executives at 185 companies drawn from the largest firms in each country.

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