Poland’s GDP grew 4% in 2018, a slowdown of 1.1pp versus 2018, a preliminary estimate from the country's statistical office GUS showed on January 29.
The breakdown of the data shows household consumption – the main driver of growth in recent years – weakened last year, as did investment. The figures also point to a sharp deceleration of economic growth in the fourth quarter y/y, possibly to below 3% y/y.
The full year result arrives on the back of household consumption expanding 3.9%, 0.4pp below the expansion in 2018. Fixed investment expanded 7.8% last year, slower than 8.9% in 2018. Overall, however, investment slowed down much more sharply – to 3% from 10.1%.
“The annual GDP growth figure was significantly lower than last year’s outturn of 5.1% and a bit below the consensus forecast [of 4.2%]. [The breakdown of the data] shows that the slowdown was due to domestic demand – mainly investment. Total investment growth weakened by much more than fixed investment, suggesting that inventories dragged on growth,” Capital Economics wrote in a comment on the figures.
“Household consumption slowed more modestly. Overall consumption weakened only a touch last year, suggesting that government consumption growth picked up. That may be related to fiscal stimulus launched ahead of last year’s election,” Capital Economics added.