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The Warsaw Voice » Business » September 24, 2008
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Business in brief
September 24, 2008   
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Inflation Lower Than Expected
Instead of the expected 5 percent, year-on-year inflation in Poland was 4.8 percent in August, exactly the same as in July, according to data by the Central Statistical Office (GUS). At the same time, salaries grew by 9.7 percent, and employment increased by 4.2 percent compared with the same month last year, GUS said.


Exports Rise, Imports Even Faster
Poland's exports exceeded 67.4 billion euros in the first six months of this year, which was 17.6 percent more than in the first half of last year, according to data by the Central Statistical Office (GUS). Imports grew by 18.6 percent, leading to a 12.7-billion-euro trade deficit, compared with 10.3 billion in the first half of last year. An overwhelming 77.9 percent of Poland's exports are to other European Union countries, GUS said.


Japanese Wind Farm Opens
The first Japanese wind farm in Poland has opened near the city of Słupsk in Pomerania province. The 74-million-euro facility was built by Zaj±czkowo Windfarm, a company controlled by Japanese corporations Mutsui and J-Power. The farm consists of 24 turbines each with a capacity of 48 MW. The wind farm will produce 106-110 GWh of energy per year, enough to meet the demand of a town of 30,000.


More Credit Cards
The number of credit cards in Poland is approaching 9 million. The largest issuers are banks specializing in consumer loans. The leader in this area is Cetelem Bank, one of the main issuers of credit cards for shopping chains. By the end of June, the bank had issued almost 1.3 million cards. The second largest bank in terms of the number of credit cards issued is Lukas Bank, and GE Money Bank comes in third. Each of these two banks has issued more than 1.2 million cards. At the end of June, the total number of credit cards in Poland reached 8.9 million, over 2 million more than a year earlier.


Production Down in Ukraine
After a 5.1-percent rise in July, industrial production in Ukraine shrank by 0.5 percent in August, according to the country's statistical office.
Despite the slowdown the Ukrainian economy is expected to grow 6.8 percent this year, thanks to growing investment and consumption, economists say.


Car Production Up
Poland produced 701,400 passenger cars and delivery vans in the first eight months of the year, a 31-percent increase over the same period last year, according to the Samar Institute which monitors the automotive market. Of these, 97.4 percent were exported. Fiat is still in front, accounting for 45.6 percent of local production.


EU Wants to Cut Fishing Fleets
The European Commission has proposed further reductions in fishing fleets to combat the ongoing crisis in the industry. This is the centerpiece of a complete overhaul of the common fishing policy, presented by Joe Borg, European Commissioner responsible for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs. There were 88,230 fishing vessels operating in the EU last year.
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