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IMF: GDP growth to be 1.75% in 2013


Economic growth in Poland will slow to 1.75% in 2013 from a projected 2.25% in 2012 as lower public investment combines with weaker export demand and muted business and consumer confidence, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) says in the concluding statement of its 2012 staff visit to Poland, issued on 16 November.

The Fund notes that after robust growth underpinned by sound policies and fundamentals, the Polish economy is decelerating due to developments in the eurozone, and commends the government’s new priority to reconcile continued fiscal consolidation (termed “impressive” so far) with measures to boost infrastructure investment and SME lending. It also welcomes the interest rate cut implemented earlier this month by the central bank and says it sees room for further monetary easing, particularly if economic conditions deteriorate more sharply.

The IMF emphasises that for the public investment programme to succeed, resources need to be allocated efficiently and transparently. Also, the government should continue to reform the pension system, particularly the special occupational schemes. And the country’s banking system, which remains strong and resilient, may have to take a more proactive approach to the growing problem of non-performing loans as economic activity weakens.

The IMF sees downside risks to its growth outlook from a deeper or more protracted slowdown in Europe.

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