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(Adds economist from third paragraph, zloty in fifth.)
Nov. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Polish retail-sales growth in October almost matched September’s four-month high as the European Union’s largest eastern economy weathers the escalating debt crisis in the euro region.
Sales rose 11.2 percent from a year earlier after rising 11.4 percent in September, the Central Statistical Office in Warsaw said today. The median estimate of 21 economists surveyed by Bloomberg was 10.5 percent. September sales rose 4.1 percent from the previous month.
“The sales data, especially when the external environment is taken into account, has to be seen as very high,” said Monika Kurtek, the chief economist at Bank Pocztowy in Warsaw. “It indicates that consumption will remain a pillar of Polish economic growth.”
Poland, the only European Union nation that avoided recession during the 2009 global crisis will also have a milder slowdown than the euro region, which is beset by a debt crisis, the central bank said. Full-year growth may exceed 4 percent, Kurtek said, proving the economy is “doing relatively good” and the the benchmark seven-day rate will unchanged at 4.5 percent for now.
The zloty was trading at 4.5 per euro at 10:30 a.m. in Warsaw, unchanged from earlier today and down from 4.4915 late yesterday.
The government is scaling down its forecast for economic growth next year to a maximum 3.2 percent in the most optimistic of three scenarios because of the euro area, which buys 55 percent of Polish exports. The “medium” scenario sees 2012 growth of 2.5 percent, while a “recession” option forecasts a 1 percent contraction, he said.
Preliminary data suggest the economy will expand in the third quarter between 3.7 and 4 percent, Administration and Information Technology Minister Michal Boni said earlier this week.
--With assistance from Monika Rozlal and Barbara Sladkowska in Warsaw. Editor: James M. Gomez
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