Polish retail sales slumped in April according to figures released on Friday, falling by an annual 0.2 per cent, worse than consensus which had been for a 1.1 per cent increase, in yet another indication of the severity of the slowdown hitting the Polish economy. Continue reading »
The Warsaw Stock Exchange is tightening the screws on its often-unruly younger sibling, the New Connect alternative market for small companies, by halting trading in 14 companies that failed to file their quarterly reports on time.
The earliest the 14 can return to the trading floor is Thursday – if they get their paperwork in no later than the end of Tuesday. Continue reading »
Jesus never came across as a big fan of markets – as he showed when he chased the moneychangers from the Temple – but now a group of Polish monks is looking to enter, albeit indirectly, into Mammon’s unholy precincts by floating on the Warsaw Stock Exchange.
A company called Produkty Klasztorne (Monastery Products), which pays Cistercian monks a licensing fee to use their trademark, recipes, and raw materials, is listing on the exchange’s smaller companies’ alternative market.
Continue reading »
The Czech Republic is in a terrible downturn that shows no sign of coming to an end with new flash GDP data showing a first quarter annual contraction of 1.9 per cent, much worse than analysts had predicted and the Czech economy’s worst performance since the depths of the first wave of the crisis in 2009. Continue reading »
Poland’s economy expanded by only 0.4 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2o13, according to a flash estimate issued Tuesday by the country’s statistical agency, which will increase pressure on the central bank to accelerate rate cuts.
The worst quarterly growth number since 2001 suggests the Polish economy has not yet hit bottom as it battles slumps in both consumption and investment. Continue reading »
Monoethnic and monocultural Poland is becoming a more interesting place as it becomes wealthier, with the latest sign of its growing international attraction being the plans of a Vietnamese bank to start operations in Poland.
Vietinbank, the second largest partly private bank in Vietnam, is planning on expanding its foreign network, which currently includes two branches in Germany and one in neighbouring Laos. Continue reading »
Poland’s hopes of weaning itself off Russian natural gas suffered another blow on Wednesday when two foreign energy companies – Canada’s Talisman and Marathon of the US – said they were pulling out of the hunt for shale gas in the country. Continue reading »
Poland’s slowing economy prompted the central bank’s Monetary Policy Council to cut rates by a quarter point to a record low of 3 per cent on Wednesday, surprising a majority of analysts who had expected the council to stay put after a recent easing cycle that had seen the bank’s benchmark rate come down from 4.75 per cent near the end of last year. Continue reading »
Should Poles be getting out their umbrellas, or will a simple spring coat suffice? That’s the question as a debate begins over whether the clouds hanging over the Polish economy are merely grey or a much darker hue.
The gloomier forecast comes form the European Commission, which sees Polish growth slowing to 1.1 per cent this year followed by a recovery of 2.2 per cent in 2014. It correct, that lacklustre growth rate will have dire consequences for the country’s public finances. Continue reading »
Terrible news out of Poland on Thursday morning as Polish manufacturing showed signs of a steepening downturn, posting the worst results since the depths of the first wave of the economic crisis in 2009.
April’s purchasing managers index, compiled by Markit Economics for HSBC, hit 46.9, far below analysts’ expectations of 47.8 and the worst since July 2009. PMI figures of less than 50 denote a contraction of manufacturing, and Poland has been posting them for 13 successive months, the grimmest performance in a decade. Continue reading »
The global battle between Austerians and Spendanigans has opened a front in central Europe and the Spendanigans appear to be gaining ground.
In an interview with the FT, Robert Fico, the centre-left prime minister of Slovakia, came down firmly on the side of encouraging growth and concentrating less on belt-tightening. Continue reading »
Grazyna Piotrowska-Oliwa was fired Monday as head of PGNiG, the former Polish gas monopoly, as a bizarre preliminary agreement to expand Russian pipelines on Polish territory claimed yet another high profile victim.
Mikolaj Budzanowski, the former treasury minister, was defenestrated just over a week ago over the same issue: the signing of an agreement that could see a new leg added to the Yamal pipeline carrying Russian gas west to European markets. Continue reading »
Poland and the Czech Republic seem to be heading in different directions over the euro.
The Czech Republic has long been one of the region’s greatest sceptics on joining the common currency, preferring to hang on to the koruna and enjoy a reputation for fiscal and monetary probity at least equal to that of the EU and the European Central Bank.
Czech governments have for years refused to set a firm date for entry. But now Milos Zeman, the country’s new centre-left president, said in a German press interview that his country could be in the euro by 2018 – a marked departure from the eurosceptic views of his predecessor Vaclav Klaus, who famously even refused to fly the EU’s blue banner over his residence. Continue reading »
Poland’s justice minister seems to have been an overly avid fan of the classic thriller The Boys From Brazil, a book in which twisted German scientists play with genetics in a bid to clone Adolf Hitler.
Jaroslaw Gowin is accusing German labs of buying frozen Polish embryos for research purposes – an accusation that seems to be unfounded in fact, which German researchers deny, and which has made the conservative minister a target of the growing ire of premier Donald Tusk. Continue reading »
Not even the purchase of Easter hams and cakes was enough to give much of a lift to Polish retail sales, which rose by only 0.1 per cent in March – less than analysts had expected.
The grim results are one more sign that the Polish economy is losing altitude and, by some estimates, may have stopped growing at all. Continue reading »