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S&P upholds Poland’s ratings, forecasts 2.3% growth in 2012


Standard & Poor’s (S&P) on 7 August affirmed Poland’s existing credit ratings and maintained the outlook at stable, commending the country’s economy and policies but identifying points to watch as its key eurozone trading partners face a major downturn. S&P expects GDP growth in Poland to decelerate to 2.3% this year due to weaker external and domestic demand, before picking up to 3% in 2013 as global markets recover and as fiscal policy becomes less of a drag on growth.

The Agency kept Poland’s long- and short-term foreign current sovereign credit ratings at A-/A-2, and its local currency ratings at A/A-1. According to Standard & Poor’s, the decision reflects Poland’s commitment to sustained fiscal deficit reduction and its monetary flexibility, with its floating exchange rate enabling the country’s resilient economy to adjust to external shocks. However, with general government debt above 50% of GDP, Poland’s authorities now have less fiscal flexibility, leaving the economy and public finances vulnerable to any severe downturn in the eurozone, the Agency said. The stable outlook “balances our assessment of Poland's relatively strong medium-to-long-term economic growth prospects against its high external financing needs”.

S&P said it might revise its growth forecast for 2013 “if the government pushes through with its structural reform agenda, including deregulating the labour market further, and streamlining and reducing business regulation”.

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