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The Warsaw Voice » Business » February 4, 2010
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Business in brief
February 4, 2010   
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NBP Exchange Rates (February 1, 2010)
1 EUR = zl. 4.0355
1 USD = zl. 2.8787
1 CHF = zl. 2.7194
1 GBP = zl. 4,5830
100 JPY = zl. 3.1859

Polish GDP Grows 1.7% in 2009
Despite the global crisis, Poland's economy grew 1.7 percent last year, the government's Central Statistical Office (GUS) said Jan. 28.

Prime Minister Donald Tusk said the figure exceeds the most optimistic expectations and means that Poland outperformed all other economies in the European Union in terms of GDP growth. "Poland is the only economy in the EU with positive GDP growth," Tusk said.
In 2008, the Polish economy expanded by 5 percent.

Forecasts From Morgan Stanley
The Polish economy will grow by 3 percent this year and 2.5 percent in 2011, according to forecasts from the Morgan Stanley bank. Poland is thus likely to outdo the Czech Republic, whose forecasts stand at 2.1 and 2.8 percent respectively, and Romania at 1.1 and 2.8 percent. According to the forecast, GDP in Hungary will continue to decline, dropping by another 0.9 percent this year. The economy of Ukraine is expected to grow by 4.5 percent this year and 2.5 percent in 2011.

Less Demand for Bonds
The Ministry of Finance sold bonds worth a total of zl.3.84 billion last year, 38 percent less than in 2008 when Polish citizens bought bonds worth a record-breaking zl.6.2 billion. The 2009 sales of 10-year bonds with highest interest (currently 6.75 percent in the first year) reached zl.972 million, which accounted for 25 percent of the total demand.

Consumer Mood Improves in EU
The consumer confidence index in the eurozone improved in January to -15.8 points from -16.1 in December. The European statistical office Eurostat reports that in the whole of the EU, the consumer confidence index rose from -14.3 to -13.3 points.

China Tops World Exports
China surpassed Germany in December as the largest exporter in the world, the AP news agency reported Jan. 24. According to estimates from late December, Chinese exports grew at a rate of 17.7 percent despite a decline in global demand. Chinese exports in 2009 were worth a total of $1.2 trillion. December forecasts from the German external trade association estimated the value of German exports in 2009 at 816 billion euros, or $1.17 trillion.

Fitch Raises Ratings for Russia...
The Fitch ratings agency has raised Russia's credit rating outlook from negative to stable. The rating of Russia's credibility in redemption of debt in rubles and foreign currencies has gone from negative to stable as well.

Gold Reserves Increase...
The central bank of Russia increased by 800,000 ounces its gold reserves in December, the bank announced on its website. The value of the reserves rose to $22.4 billion, as of Jan. 1. The reserves grew from 19.7 million ounces in November to 20.5 million ounces at the end of December.

But Production Down
Industrial production in Russia plummeted by 10.8 percent in the whole of 2009, despite an increase by 2.7 percent in December, according to the Russian statistical office Rosstat. The previous year, industrial production in Russia grew by 2.1 percent.
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