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Industrial output up by 4.6% y-o-y in October


Industrial output rose by 4.6% y-o-y in October, an improvement compared with the previous month, according to data from the Central Statistical Office (GUS). The result is significantly better than market expectations, which averaged 1.4% y-o-y.

Compared with the corresponding period of 2011, output was up in 27 (out of 34) industrial sectors. Of the main sectors, the biggest increase was noted in mining and quarrying (up by 11.3% y-o-y), followed by manufacturing (up by 4.7% y-o-y) and water supply, waste management and remediation activities (up by 4.6% y-o-y). Output in electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply rose 1% y-o-y.

In the case of the country’s manufacturing sub-sectors, production of electrical equipment increased by 12.2% y-o-y, output in the chemicals and chemical products category went up by 11% y-o-y, paper and paper products by 10.2% y-o-y, food products by 8.8% y-o-y , while in computers, electronic and optical products it was up by 8.5% y-o-y.

On the other hand, production of metals was down by 8.4% y-o-y, motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers by 4.9% y-o-y, furniture by 4.5% y-o-y, and other non-metallic mineral products by 1.7% y-o-y.

In January-October industrial output rose 2.5% y-o-y.

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

The better-than-expected figures for industrial output in October are not indicative of any turnaround in the economy. Just like the deep slump recorded in September, they are largely a blip caused by statistical factors and do not properly reflect economic conditions at the time.

In October industrial output growth was supported by more working days than in the same month of 2011, i.e. a reversal of the situation in September, as well as by a somewhat lower base of comparison than the month before. And although output growth improved slightly in seasonally-adjusted terms as well (an increase of 0.6% y-o-y in October, compared with a decrease of 1.6% y-o-y in September), industrial activity in Poland remains weak.

The near term outlook for the country’s industrial sector is not optimistic, either, in the context of recession in the eurozone and a noticeable weakening of domestic demand. While output growth might still hover around zero in November, fewer working days in December as compared with a year ago mean industrial production could fall well into negative territory in the closing month of the year. Output figures can be expected to improve from the spring of 2013 onwards thanks to more favourable base effects. However, a significant recovery is likely to occur only in the second half of next year, as the eurozone economy starts to emerge from the crisis.

Paweł Sionko

Senior Economist, PMR

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