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(Corrects revised February producer-price figure in seventh paragraph.)
Polish industrial-output growth slowed in March to the lowest rate since November 2009, suggesting the European Union’s biggest eastern economy is losing strength and damping calls for higher borrowing costs.
Production rose 0.7 percent from a year earlier after increasing 4.6 percent in February, the Central Statistical office in Warsaw said today. That compares with the 4.4 percent median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 30 economists. Output rose 10.7 percent on the month.
Economic growth in Poland, the only EU member to dodge a recession in 2009, will slow to 2.5 percent this year from an estimated 4.3 percent in 2011 as the euro-region debt crisis curbs export demand, the government forecasts. Today’s data, along with wage and employment figures, “should be enough” to decide whether to leave interest rates unchanged for an 11th month in May, central banker Anna Zielinska-Glebocka said on April 14.
“I don’t think these figures will give any reason to turn more hawkish on monetary policy,” Lars Christensen, an emerging-markets analyst at Danske Bank A/S in Copenhagen, said before the figures were released. “They will still feel pretty comfortable that inflation will fall later in the year.”
The zloty weakened after the data release to 4.1877 per euro at 2:06 p.m. in Warsaw, down 0.1 percent on the day. The two-year government bond yield dropped 5 basis points to 4.68 percent, from 4.73 percent before the announcement.
Hiring at companies with more than nine workers fell 0.1 percent from the previous month in March, while average gross wages rose 3.8 percent from a year earlier in March after a 4.3 percent surge the previous month, the statistics office reported yesterday.
Producer prices rose 4.5 percent from a year earlier, slowed from a revised 6.0 percent advance in February, the statistics office said in a separate report. That’s below the 4.8 percent median forecast of 21 economists in a Bloomberg survey. Factory- gate prices rose 0.1 percent from February.
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