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The Warsaw Voice » Business » June 27, 2013
Business & Economy
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In Brief
June 27, 2013   
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Inflation Lowest in Seven Years
Year-on-year inflation in Poland in May fell to 0.5 percent, the lowest level since March 2006, according to the government’s Central Statistical Office (GUS). This was mainly due to falling prices of fuel and energy, mainly natural gas. Fuel was 8.2 percent cheaper and energy was 0.4 percent cheaper in May than in the same month last year. Since the country’s move to a market economy in 1989, 0.5 percent year-on-year inflation has only been seen twice, in January and February 2003. The lowest year-on-year inflation since 1989 was recorded in April 2003, at 0.3 percent.

Card Users Safe in Poland
Poland is one of the safest countries in Europe when it comes to payment card transactions. According to First Data Polska, the owner of Polcard, Poland’s largest payment card settlement center, only 0.01 percent of payment card transactions in the country involved fraud between October 2012 and March 2013, six times less than the European Union average. Thirty percent of all cases of fraud occurred in the hospitality industry when people were booking accommodation.

Contactless cards were responsible for only 504 fraudulent transactions. The overall number of contactless card transactions handled by Polcard in the second half of last year was 15 million, up from 900,000 in the first half of 2011, First Data Polska said.

PKL Changes Hands
Poland’s biggest rail operator, PKP, has sold cable car and ski-lift operator Polskie Koleje Linowe (PKL) to the Polskie Koleje Górskie company (Polish Mountain Railways) for zl.215 million. Polskie Koleje Górskie—established by the town of Zakopane and the districts of Bukowina Tatrzańska, Ko¶cielisko and Poronin in the Podhale area in southern Poland—was one of five companies interested in buying PKL. The deal finalizes the privatization of PKL, which manages tourism infrastructure in the mountain resorts of Zakopane, Zawoja, Międzybrodzie Żywieckie, Szczawnica and Krynica. Polskie Koleje Górskie is open to new shareholders, including the provincial government, which will have a say in the company’s operations, and residents of the Podhale area, who can become shareholders as part of a Civic Shareholding program.

Poles Partial to Beer
Beer is the most popular alcoholic beverage in Poland. It accounts for almost half the money spent on alcohol in this country, according to market research firm Nielsen. Consumers in Poland spend around zl.14 billion on beer annually. Vodka is next on the list, accounting for more than 30 percent of total consumer spending on alcohol, and wine is third, at 10 percent. In Europe, only Russia, Germany and Britain sell more beer while Spain, Ukraine, France, Romania, Italy and the Czech Republic all trail Poland in terms of beer consumption.
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