Polish growth rates beat market expectations

Poland’s economy grew at a comparatively healthy 4.3 percent in 2011, according to preliminary data from the central statistical office (GUS).

The figure is above economists’ expectations and above the 2010 figure of 3.9 percent. The government expects 2.5 percent growth in 2012.

Meanwhile, unemployment came in at 12.5 percent in 2011, in line with market expectations.

GUS deputy chief Halina Dmochowska said the economy was growing at a stable rate, especially taking into account the external environment in Europe and globally.

Dmochowska noted in particular strong figures from the construction sector, with value added 11.8 percent up on 2010.

Retail sales in December rose 8.6 percent year on year, below expectations of 10.3 percent.

The World Bank (WB) said recently that Poland’s growth may slip to 2.5 percent in 2012.

The central bank, NBP, said in a report published this week that the slowdown in Poland’s economy would be relatively small, with GDP above 2.5 percent in 2012

The main motor of growth was domestic household consumption, making up about 1/3 of GDP, and up 3.1 percent year on year in 2011. Retail sales are expected to fall off somewhat in 2012, with firms seen becoming less inclined to invest and unemployment creeping up.