(Updates with economist’s comment in third paragraph, zloty, bonds in fifth.)
Feb. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Polish manufacturing grew for the first time in three months in January, dashing forecasts of a contraction, as a weaker zloty buoyed new export orders while pushing input price inflation to the fastest in nine months.
The purchasing managers’ index, a gauge of manufacturing, rose to 52.2 from 48.8 in December, HSBC Holdings said in an e- mailed statement summarizing the results of a survey by Markit Economics. The median estimate of 17 economists in a Bloomberg survey forecast an advance to 49.4. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.
“This is a very strong reading - the third-steepest one- month gain in the survey history,” Agata Urbanska, an economist at HSBC in London, said in the statement. “Accelerating inflation of input and output prices also supports increasing hawkishness of the Polish central bank.”
Poland was the only country in the 27-member European Union to avoid a recession in 2009 and the economy expanded 4.3 percent last year, the Central Statistics Office reported last week in a preliminary estimate. The improved growth outlook and Poland’s “stubbornly high” inflation rate of 4.6 percent in December may require a rate increase as early as the first quarter, Andrzej Kazmierczak of the Monetary Policy Council said in an interview on Jan. 26.
The zloty gained after the data release to 4.2180 per euro at 9:30 a.m. in Warsaw, up from 4.23 before the release and 0.4 percent stronger on the day. The 10-year Treasury bond yield fell to 5.576 percent from 5.581 percent yesterday.
Companies reported higher prices for oil-based inputs in particular and the effect of a weaker zloty on import prices in general, HSBC said in its summary of the Markit survey.
“Prices charged for manufactured goods also rose at a faster rate, with the pace of inflation hitting a five-month high,” HSBC said in the statement.
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