2013-01-01 01:59:54 - Poland Business Forecast Report Q4 2012 - a new country guide report on companiesandmarkets.com
We maintain our below-consensus forecast for Polish real GDP growth of 2.5% in 2012 and have revised down our forecast for 2013 to 2.6% from 2.9% as eurozone demand looks set to remain weak well into next year. Nonetheless, we expect Poland to continue outperforming the CEE region as its large domestic market and exposure to Germany provide a measure of insulation from the sovereign debt crisis. We expect Poland to narrow its budget deficit from 5.1% of GDP in 2011 to 3.4% of GDP in 2012, missing its target of 2.9% of GDP.
However, the public debt will not breach the 55% of GDP debt ceiling and is on course to fall gradually from 2013 onwards. Tensions between Poland and
Russia are likely to persist in 2012, as the acceleration in Iran´s nuclear programme has renewed discussion over the US´s plans for a ballistic missile defence system in the region. Several of the interceptors are to be located in Poland, and while the Russian government opposes the programme, Poland has pushed for it.
Major Forecast Changes
We have revised our forecast for Polish exports in 2012 and 2013 down to 3.3% and 7.0% respectively. The long-term outlook for the export sector is positive, with Poland gradually increasing its exposure to dynamic emerging Europe markets and moving up the value added chain We have revised down our 2013 forecast for the budget deficit from 2.4% of GDP to 2.7% because of a weaker growth outlook and increasing political pressures on the government.
Key Risks To Outlook
Although not our core scenario, we highlight the risk of Greece leaving the euro, potentially leading to a disorderly breakup of the whole common currency bloc. This would likely push Poland into recession. A zloty sell-off in response to a downturn in risk appetite could prompt the central bank to hike rates in order to contain imported inflation. This risk would be heightened if domestic demand holds up better than we currently anticipate.
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