Poland’s GDP grew 4.6% in 2017, the fastest expansion since 2011, a preliminary estimate from the country statistical office GUS showed on January 30.
The result well beats the 2.9% growth in 2016 and comes on the back of robust consumption and an unexpected recovery in investment, analysts note.
Economic growth picked up speed in the second half of the year, with GDP expanding at an estimated 5% y/y in the fourth quarter. If confirmed, that would make it the best quarter of last year, even above an already very strong third quarter, when GDP grew 4.9% in annual terms.
Secondly, there was a turnaround in investment, state bank BGK notes. “Investment grew 5.4% y/y last year, which – given the weak previous three quarters – suggests an excellent result in the fourth quarter,” BGK said. Investment fell 7.9% in 2016
“We estimate investment grew at a two-digit pace in the fourth quarter,” BGK said. BZ WBK estimated the fourth quarter investment growth at 11.8% y/y.
Domestic consumption grew 4.2% in 2017, including growth in household consumption of 4.8%, in line with expectations based on the very good situation on the labour market, with unemployment only at over 6% and rising demand for labour that is pushing up wages.
The likely very strong fourth quarter and a decisive acceleration of growth in 2017 are whetting appetites for 2018 to be equally as good. While analysts hedge by saying GDD growth dynamics is “expected to be somewhat lower” – as put by Erste – that is not granted at all.
“Private consumption should remain robust supported mainly by soaring wage growth, while investment growth should accelerate [in 2018],” Erste wrote.
“At this point we see investment growth at 6.7% in 2018 but if investment growth goes into double digits there is room for a surprise to the upside and for economic growth in 2018 well above 4%,” the Austrian bank added.