PM: first quarter seen most difficult for Polish economy
February 4, 2013
Prime Minister Donald Tusk
The first quarter of 2013 will be the hardest for the Polish economy as growth slows down but the second half of the year will bring visible signals of recovery, PM Donald Tusk told a press conference on Friday.
"Q1 and H1 will certainly be hard, I think Q1 will be the most difficult in the last few years but we have reasons to believe that it will be a turning point, that H2 will be a time of visible recovery signals," Tusk said.
The entire 2013 will be more difficult than both 2012 and 2014, Tusk added.
Poland’s GDP fell to 2.0% last year, below the government’s forecast of 2.5%, while investments grew by 0.6% and domestic demand rose by 0.1%, the Central Statistical Office GUS reported Tuesday citing preliminary estimates.
A recent report by Capital Economics analysts said that private consumption in Poland fell y/y for the first time in over 15 years.”
According to Tusk, the recently seen slowdown in consumption results in a large part from weaker perception of economic situation by households.
Last year's GDP growth result of 2% "was not too bad at all" but the trend is worrying, Tusk said. “Consumers concerned by the crisis are tightening their belts,” he added.
Poland's condition will to a large extent depend on the situation in the euro zone, especially in Germany [Poland’s main trade partner], the PM also said.
"If the euro zone and Germany . . . enter positive territory, which is possible already in Q2 this year, that combined with our actions should bring not bad results," he said.
Poland will launch a debate on entering the euro zone in spring Tusk also said on Friday.
"The speaker of the Sejm consented to devote the parliamentary sitting on February 19 to conducting a debate on the fiscal pact, which is directly related to the future of the euro zone and hence our path to the euro zone," Tusk said. "February 19 is the true beginning of the debate."
The debate on conditions on which Poland will enter the euro zone will be also held at the forum of Poland's Cabinet Council, which brings together government members chaired by the President, Tusk said.
"At the Cabinet Council we will discuss the circumstances and necessary conditions for Poland to enter the euro zone," Tusk said. "We will not discuss whether, but when and how to enter the euro zone," the Prime Minister said.