The Polish economy probably outstripped expectations as it accelerated to record 3.6% y/y growth in 2015, a flash estimate from statistical office GUS showed on January 26.
The result suggests fourth quarter economic expansion was rapid, as recent data had hinted, powered by domestic demand. The finance ministry estimates growth in October-December at 3.8%.
The result last year saw the economy picking up speed compared with the 3.3% recorded in 2014. It outpaced market expectations of 3.5%. and the result clearly denotes that the recent political turmoil has not dented the real economy.
The growth was propped up by private consumption, which grew 3.2% in 2015. A 3.3% spurt was seen in the final quarter, which is a good sign for 2016, according to BGK. “Consumption accelerated in the last quarter, which is what should be expected if it is to remain the main driver of growth in 2016,” the analysts write.
Investment also picked up in the final three months of the year, in another positive sign for the economy in 2016. The trend "should provide some reassurance that, while the newly-elected Law and Justice party has spooked the financial markets, there hasn’t been any immediate damage to the economy,” William Jackson of Capital Economics writes.
Analysts now predict Polish growth at around 3.5% in 2016, with consumption perhaps ready to make up for some weakness in investment, and exports. “We see an upward risk for private consumption, which may be boosted not only by healthy labour income but also new child benefits," BZ WBK notes. "There is a downward risk for investment growth and/or external demand, due to uncertain global growth outlook and higher political risk."
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