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Lewiatan Business Index dips in February


2012-03-08



The annual PKPP Lewiatan Business Index shed two points in February to stand at 41 points, the Polish Confederation of Private Employers (PKPP) Lewiatan announced. The quarterly index slipped one point to 42.

According to the Confederation, the movement of the Index suggests that while the economy has probably slowed somewhat in the first quarter of the year, Q2 could be better, but this will not prevent a more substantial cooling down of economic growth in the second half of 2012.

January data for industrial output and retail sales came in ahead of expectations, and positive tendencies should broadly continue throughout H1. At present economic growth is being supported by the robust financial health of the enterprise and banking sectors, strong exports, and solid investment activity (mainly public projects related to Euro 2012 but also continued inflow of foreign direct investment), which despite a seasonal slowdown in Q1 is set to rebound in Q2. However, private consumption will weaken gradually in the months ahead amid high unemployment, heightened inflation and stagnant wage growth, while public consumption will be constrained by fiscal consolidation measures. Furthermore, the weakness in the global economy is likely to exert a (delayed) impact on business investment and exports in the second half of the year. Under these circumstances, the latter part of 2012 is likely to be more difficult for the Polish economy, the Confederation reckons.

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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