Poland: Polish economy maintains strong momentum in final quarter of 2011
March 5, 2012
In the fourth quarter, GDP increased 4.3% over the same quarter the previous year, which was marginally above the 4.2% expansion recorded in the third quarter and overshot market expectations of a 4.1% rise. Compared to the previous quarter, economic growth increased a seasonally adjusted 1.1% (Q3: +1.0% quarter-on-quarter). In the full year 2011, the economy expanded 4.3%, beating the 3.9% increase observed in 2010. Growth in the fourth quarter continued to be led by strong domestic demand, in particular, gross fixed investment. Domestic demand increased 3.3% in the fourth quarter, a notch above the third quarter's 3.2% increase. Although private consumption slowed from 3.0% in the third quarter to 2.0% in the fourth quarter, gross fixed investment accelerated from an 8.5% increase to a 10.3% rise in Q4. Government consumption was the only expenditure component that contracted in the last quarter of 2011 (Q4: -0.8% year-on-year; Q3: -3.1% yoy). Exports expanded 8.0% in the fourth quarter (Q3: +7.7% yoy), while imports increased 5.3% (Q3: +5.2% yoy). As a result, the external sector's net contribution net to overall economic growth was virtually unchanged, inching down from 1.0 percentage points in the third quarter to 0.9 percentage points in the fourth. The Central Bank sees the economy growing 4.1% in 2012 and 3.1% in 2013.