Industrial production grew by 2.6 percent in January, as the Central Statistical Office (GUS) reported. Compared to the previous month, December (1.0 percent), this represents a higher growth rate. However, analysts point out that this accelerated growth was generated only by the energy-producing sectors and mining. By contrast, the manufacturing sector slowed from 3.4 percent to 2.8 percent. There is also a striking cyclical imbalance between the individual industrial sectors. The energy-intensive manufacturing sectors, such as metallurgy and chemicals, are performing very poorly. Some export-oriented industries, such as the automotive industry and producers of electrical equipment, are holding up relatively well. Majority of bank economists expect industrial production to slip into negative territory in some cases in the coming months due to the high base level from the previous year. Retail sales, which indirectly influence industrial production, increased 15.1 percent year-on-year in January, as the statistics administration reports. But these are figures at current prices. However, in fixed prices and factoring in inflation, the picture is different, analysts criticize. According to them, the real growth momentum of retail sales has fallen below zero for the first time in two years. At fixed prices, it was 0.3 percent lower in January than in January 2022, despite the fact that the number of consumers has increased by around 1 million due to Ukrainian refugees!
Source: Wirtschafts-Markt Polen (03-2023 Issue 324)
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