(Updates with economist comments in fourth and last paragraphs.)
Oct. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Poland’s current-account deficit narrowed in August as exports unexpectedly rose, suggesting the European Union’s biggest eastern economy is weathering the euro area’s sovereign-debt crisis.
The shortfall was 1.73 billion euros ($2.38 billion) compared with a revised 2.04 billion euros in July, the central bank said today on its website. That’s wider than the 1.37 billion-euro median forecast of 27 economists in a Bloomberg survey.
The International Monetary Fund revised its 2011 economic- growth estimate for Poland down to 3.8 percent from 4 percent Sept. 20 amid concern the euro debt crisis will damp demand for the country’s products among its western neighbors. Poland’s economy expanded 4.3 percent from a year earlier in the second quarter, slowing from 4.4 percent growth in the first.
“The export figures were a positive surprise and confirmed earlier predictions that the influence of the economic slowdown in the euro zone on Polish industry will be moderate,” said economists at Bank Zachodni WBK in a note to clients.
Exports rose 8.3 percent from July to 11.6 billion euros, the central bank said, above a median estimate of 10.7 billion euros. Imports increased 3.7 percent to 12.4 billion euros, topping the 11.7 billion-euro median estimate.
“Given the volatility in this series, we believe it isn’t possible to conclude anything beyond a very gradual consolidation of the external deficit,” Raffaella Tenconi, an economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in London, said by phone. The balance of payments will only improve on a more sustainable basis “at the end of this year or early 2012,” she added.
--Editors: Andrew Langley, Alan Crosby
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