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The Warsaw Voice » Business » September 3, 2008
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Business in brief
September 3, 2008   
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NBP Exchange Rates (August 11, 2008)
1 EUR = zl. 3.3360
1 USD = zl. 2.2790
1 CHF = zl. 2.0745
1 GBP = zl. 4.1101
100 JPY = zl. 2.1136

Production growth: Poland 2nd in UE
Industrial production in Poland increased by 9.5 percent last year, eclipsing figures reported by most other European Union countries. Poland reported the second largest growth in the EU.

The average growth in the bloc was 3.3 percent, and the worst performer was Italy, where production declined by 0.2 percent.

Foreign Tourists Generous
Poland's revenues from inbound tourism totaled $10.6 billion last year, 47 percent more than the year before, according to government data. The average amount foreign tourists spent in Poland rose from $167 to $253 per person.

According to estimates by the Tourism Institute, the tourist sector generated 6 percent of the country's gross domestic product last year, 0.1 percent less than in 2006.

Imports on the Rise
Poland's foreign trade deficit reached 10.9 billion euros between the start of January and the end of June, compared with 8.4 billion euros in the first six months of last year, according to the government's Central Statistical Office. Exports increased by 16.6 percent year on year, reaching 57.2 billion euros, while imports rose by 18.6 percent to 68.1 billion euros.

Record Grain Crops in EU?
Good weather and a 5-percent increase in the area of arable land may lead to high grain yields in the European Union this year, at 310 million metric tons, 43 million tons more than last year, according to European commission officials in Brussels.

Taxpayers Owe Billions to IRS
A growing number of companies owe more than zl.1 million to Poland's internal revenue service. At the end of last year, these companies' total indebtedness surpassed the zl.23 billion mark, zl.12 billion of which was interest, according to finance ministry data. The ministry says a total of 4,078 businesses have tax arrears of over zl.1 million each. In all, the number of indebted taxpayers in Poland increased by 5 percent over the previous year, and the total volume of debt rose by almost 7 percent, the finance ministry said.

Estonia Slows Down...
Estonia, until recently hailed as the economic tiger of Europe, has ceased to grow economically. According to a forecast by the country's finance ministry, Estonia's gross domestic product will decline by 1 percent this year, and then rise again in 2009 by 2.6 percent.

In April, the Estonian finance ministry projected this year's GDP growth at 3.7 percent, followed by 6.4 percent next year, but then a GDP contraction was reported in the second quarter of the year.

...While Ukraine Steps On It
Ukraine's GDP grew by 6.5 percent in the first six months of this year, and foreign direct investment in the country came to $6.9 billion, over twice the amount reported in the first half of last year, according to government statistics in Kiev. Ukraine has attracted $36.4 billion in foreign direct investment since the breakup of the Soviet Union.

Russia Leaking Capital
Russia's foreign reserves shrank by a record $16.4 billion, or 2.7 percent, to $581.1 billion, between Aug. 8 and 15, according to the country's Kommersant newspaper. This is mainly due to investor worries raised by the conflict between Russia and Georgia, the newspaper wrote.
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