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Higher industrial output in April but the economy is slowing down


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
Construction Market Analyst, PMR

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