Polish Retail Sales, Industrial Output Fall More Than Expected

By Reuters
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Polish Retail Sales, Industrial Output Fall More Than Expected

Polish retail sales and industrial output disappointed in March, with data showing weaknesses in central Europe's biggest economy at the end of the first quarter.

The region's economies are facing recession risks as price growth over the past year hits consumers and puts pressures on firms through lower demand and higher costs.

Poland's retail sales at constant prices slumped 7.3% on the year in March versus a 5.9% decline expected by analysts.

Industrial output fell 2.9% against a 1.9% drop expected by analysts.

PPI meanwhile slowed to 10.1% versus 11.0% expected.


Weak Economy

"The data show weakness of the economy at the very end of 1Q23 on all fronts: manufacturing, construction and retail trade," Piotr Bielski, head of economic analysis at Santander Bank Polska, wrote.

Bank Pocztowy chief economist Monika Kurtek said the data meant that gross domestic product probably fell by about 0.5% year-on-year in the first quarter.

Finance minister Magdalena Rzeczkowska told a news conference that GDP growth in 2023 as a whole would be around 1% when asked about Monday's data.

The energy sector proved the biggest drag on industrial production with output falling 21.8% on the year, while retail sales of fuels dropped 20.7%.


Meanwhile, Hungarian business and consumer sentiment both deteriorated in April based on think tank GKI's monthly survey, with industrial and services companies turning more pessimistic about their prospects.

Czech consumer confidence, however, hit its highest level since October 2021.

Read More: Top 10 Supermarket Retail Chains In Poland

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