Fueled by consumption, Polish economy grew 5.1 per cent in 2018

The Polish economy grew 5.1 per cent in 2018, Poland’s central statistics office, Statistics Poland (GUS) announced in a flash estimate.

“The Polish economy is still in the lead. After a very good 2017, 2018 was even better. According to preliminary estimates, economic growth amounted to 5.1 per cent. This is one of the best results in Europe,” said Poland’s Minister for Entrepreneurship and Technology, Jadwiga Emilewicz.

According to Ms Emilewicz, the main driving force behind Poland’s impressive results are private consumption, which in 2018 increased by 4.5 per cent compared to 2017. She added that the boost in household spending was supported by an increase in average wages (in 2018 the average salary in the enterprise sector increased by 7.1 per cent), a low unemployment rate (in December 2018 the registered unemployment rate was 5.8 per cent) and relatively low inflation (in 2018, the consumer price index amounted to 1.6 per cent).

“Regarding the forecasts for this year, of course I would like us to be able to repeat the result from 2018,” added Ms Emilewicz. “I believe in the strength of Polish entrepreneurs. However, in real terms – in line with the business cycle and in the wake of the global slowdown – we expect that in the current year our economic growth will slow slightly, increasing by about four per cent. This is still a very solid increase.”

However, Piotr Poplawski, a senior economist at ING bank, predicts a slightly lower growth rate in 2019.

“Economic growth is expected to slow to 3.6 per cent year-on-year despite the impending fiscal stimulus,” he said.

The World Bank has forecast growth of four per cent for Poland in 2019.