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World Bank raises growth forecast for Poland, points to need for reform


The World Bank has significantly upgraded its forecasts of economic growth in Poland this year and next. In its latest EU10 Regular Economic Report, the bank predicts that the Polish economy will expand by 3.5% in 2010, up from previously forecast 3%, and that GDP growth will accelerate to 4.1% in 2011, up from 3.7% in its previous projection in July.

It is one of the most optimistic near-term predictions of Poland’s economic performance by a major financial institution. According to the bank, the Polish economy is benefitting from a combination of economic recovery abroad and solid consumption at home.

However, the World Bank cautioned that the country was facing significant challenges to sustained growth, and that for the current economic performance to continue, concrete action was necessary in areas such as fiscal consolidation, job creation (especially for young and low-skilled workers) and enhanced lending to the business sector.

The outlook for the EU10 region as a whole − a term that refers to Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia − has also been raised, with GDP in the area now forecast to rise by 1.8% in 2010 and by 3.2% in 2011. Poland's projected rate of GDP growth this year will be higher than in any other country in the region except Slovakia, and it will be the only economy to exceed pre-crisis levels of output. Most other countries will experience modest levels of growth in 2010, but two are predicted to remain in recession this year (Romania and Latvia). However, in 2011 all the 10 economies are expected to show positive growth, with Poland again expected to expand at a rate second only to Slovakia. Also, the World Bank expects Slovakia and the Czech Republic to join Poland in achieving pre-crisis output levels in 2011.

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