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The Warsaw Voice » Business » January 26, 2012
From the Business Editor
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Resilient Amid Crisis
January 26, 2012   
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Last year the Polish economy proved surprisingly crisis-proof. This year the country’s economic growth will probably slow, but there is no sign of a looming disaster.

Economists believe that this year will not be as bad as could be expected recently when the market revised growth forecasts. The latest data shows that at the start of the year GDP growth will likely continue at just above 3 percent—which would be one of the better results in Europe. The fact that the Polish economy continues to grow at a relatively fast rate is not the only reason for optimism. Economists have also welcomed encouraging foreign trade data and an unabated influx of foreign investment into the country. According to preliminary data by the Export Credit Insurance Corporation (KUKE), Poland’s exports totaled 137.8 billion euros last year and were 10.2 percent higher than in 2010. Estimates of the economic potential of Polish manufacturers and forecasts for changes in demand for Polish goods in 2012 show that exports will grow to 153.7 billion euros, an increase of 11.5 percent. However, much will depend on the state of the German economy because Germany is Poland’s key economic partner. Although full data on foreign investment in Poland in 2011 is still unavailable, there is every indication that Poland remained popular with investors. From January to October last year, FDI in Poland was around 9.7 billion euros, 39 percent more than in the same period of 2010. This was Poland’s best result in three years and the highest increase in Europe. The Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency (PAIiIZ) says that a similar level of FDI can be expected this year, followed by a drop in subsequent years, in part due to the fact that EU funds intended for supporting large investment projects are running out.

Another piece of good news is that the Polish capital market is developing rapidly. According to the IPO Watch Europe report by consulting firm PwC, the Warsaw Stock Exchange last year had the largest number of new listings in Europe, and was only behind London and Madrid in terms of the value of initial public offerings. The WSE recorded 203 new listings last year and accounted for half of the IPOs in Europe. This shows that investors have confidence in the Polish capital market and have not been scared away by the crisis on the European financial market.
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