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Industrial output up by 2.9% y-o-y in April


2012-05-21



Industrial output rose by 2.9% y-o-y in April, an acceleration compared with the previous month, according to data from the Central Statistical Office (GUS). The result fell short of market expectations, which averaged 3.2% y-o-y.

Compared with the corresponding period of 2011, output was up in 22 (out of 34) industrial sectors. Of the main sectors, the highest growth (up by 6.2% y-o-y) was noted in electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply, followed by manufacturing (up by 3.1% y-o-y) and water supply, waste management and remediation activities (up by 2.7% y-o-y). At the same time, in mining-quarrying output declined by 11% y-o-y.

In the case of the country’s manufacturing sub-sectors, double-digit increases were reported in machinery and equipment (up by 18.9% y-o-y), metal products (up by 12.1% y-o-y), or in chemicals and chemical products (up by 11.4% y-o-y). Solid growths were also noted in electrical equipment (up by 9.2% y-o-y), paper and paper products (up by 7.6% y-o-y), and in wood, cork, straw, and wicker products (up by 5% y-o-y). On the other hand, output in the furniture sector slumped by 9.8% y-o-y, in pharmaceuticals by 8.5% y-o-y, in motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers by 6.8% y-o-y, and in basic metals by 2.2% y-o-y.

In January-April 2012 industrial output rose by 4.6% y-o-y.

Industrial output in Poland (%, y-o-y), April 2011-April 2012

After tailing off to a meagre 0.8% y-o-y in the preceding month, industrial output posted a slight recovery in April with an increase of 2.9% y-o-y. Although this is good news, it should be remembered that the growth rate remained anaemic and that the uptick was in large part a statistical effect, reflecting a higher number of working days than a year earlier. Paradoxically, though, seasonally-adjusted GUS figures (which take into account a number of other factors besides the number of working days) show industrial output up by a fairly solid 5% y-o-y (as compared with 3.9% y-o-y growth in March 2012).

Undoubtedly, however, the weakening of the growth rate of industrial output registered over the past few months indicates that the crisis in the eurozone and the slowdown in Poland’s main trading partners are beginning to exert a more noticeable impact on the Polish economy. (That economic activity is slowing down is further suggested by flagging foreign trade turnover and poor labour market figures. On the other hand, the weakness of retail sales growth in April was due primarily to a very high comparative base). Although it is difficult, based on currently available data, to assess the extent and durability of the slowdown, in the second half of 2012 GDP growth in Poland is unlikely to significantly exceed 3% y-o-y.

Paweł Sionko

Senior Economist

PMR Publications



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PMR is a British-American company providing market information, advice and services to international businesses interested in Central and Eastern Europe as well as other emerging markets. PMR key areas of operation include business publications (through PMR Publications), consultancy (through PMR Consulting) and market research (through PMR Research). With over fourteen years of experience, high international standards in projects and publications, highly skilled multilingual staff and a wide network of co-operating research companies and market experts, PMR is one of the largest companies of its type in the region.