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EBRD forecasts 2.2% growth in 2013


The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has reduced its forecast of economic growth in Poland this year and next, but still expects the country’s economy to experience expansion above 2% in both 2012 and 2013.

In its latest Regional Economic Prospects report, released on 26 October, the bank says a worse outlook for the euro area means most countries in Central and South-Eastern Europe are likely to see lower growth than previously forecast, even though the main downside risk for the region – an escalation of the eurozone crisis – has abated.

Poland is now forecast to see growth of 2.5% in 2012, rather than 2.9%, and of 2.2% in 2013 instead of 2.4%. The EBRD notes that economic activity in the country has decelerated markedly in the second quarter and that weakening public investment and declining private investment will constrain activity going forward. And while the government appears to allow automatic fiscal stabilisers to buffer some of the decline, its fiscal leeway is smaller than it was during the 2009 downturn as the country’s public debt is already close to constitutional limits. Nevertheless, external funding risks are small, with continued good funding conditions and access to an IMF credit line.

By way of comparison, economic growth in Slovakia is projected to be 2.7% in 2012 and 2.3% in 2013, while Hungary’s economy is forecast to contract by 1.5% and to grow by 0.4%, respectively.

The Central Europe and the Baltic States region will grow by 1.4% this year and 1.7% next, according to the EBRD.

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