Poland: Economy accelerates in the last quarter of 2010
March 2, 2011
In the fourth quarter, GDP increased 4.4% over the same quarter of the previous year. The result was exactly in line with market expectations but came in slightly above the 4.2% growth registered in the third quarter. In fact, economic output grew at the fastest pace in two years. In the full year 2010, the economy expanded 3.8%. The resilient growth was mainly driven by domestic demand, which added 5.6% in Q4 (Q3: +4.2% year-on-year). Private consumption rose 4.1% over the same period last year, up from the 3.5% increase recorded in the third quarter. Gross fixed investment expanded a paltry 0.9%, which was, nonetheless, up from the 0.4% increase registered in the previous quarter. Meanwhile, the net contribution from the external sector to overall growth deteriorated compared to the third quarter. Exports grew 6.8% in the fourth quarter (Q3: +9.6% yoy) and imports increased 9.9% (Q3: +9.5% yoy). As a result, the net contribution from the external sector to overall growth decreased from zero percentage points in the third quarter to minus 1.2 percentage points in the fourth. At the sector level, industry increased 6.2%, down from the 10.2% rise recorded in Q3, while services expanded 3.3% (Q3: +2.0% yoy). A quarter-on-quarter analysis does not confirm the acceleration implied by the annual figures, as the economy increased only 0.8% over the preceding quarter in seasonally adjusted terms (Q3: +1.2% qoq). In its Inflation Report from March 2011, the Central Bank revised its GDP projection downwards and now sees the economy growing 4.2% in 2011 (from 4.3% estimated previously) and 3.6% in 2012 (from 4.2% previously).