Poland's statistics office GUS revealed last week that retail sales in Poland in December 2012 fell by 2.5 percent year-on-year and rose by 15.1 percent month-on-month. Economists had forecast that December retail sales would rise 1.2 percent y/y and 19.1 percent m/m. GUS also said that retailers' turnover fell by 2.9 percent y/y in December.
Commenting on the data, Bank Zachodni WBK economists wrote: "December's data about retail sales show that private consumption growth decelerated sharply at the end of last year, which was driven by a drop in real income and the uncertain situation in the labor market."
They see this as a confirmation of GDP growth slowing down to 1.8 percent in 2012.
During the global economic crisis in 2009, robust retail sales in Poland were credited with keeping the country's economy out of recession. Though it had been expected to slow down in December, following a trend that started in the middle of last year, many analysts were negatively surprised that retail sales actually lost value year-on-year.
From Warsaw Business Journal
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