A GDP growth estimate of 4.6 pct for 2017 good news, says finance minister

"Tuesday's initial GDP growth estimate for 2017 is very positive information, though of course it is not a surprise," Finance Minister Teresa Czerwinska said on Tuesday.

Czerwinska was commenting on news from the Central Statistical Office that GDP had risen by 4.6 percent last year. The ministry added in a press release that the main factor in the increase had been private consumption, which rose by 4.8 percent - the most for almost 10 years. 

"Several factors were in its favour: the exceptionally good situation on the labour market, the Family 500+ programme and very good consumer sentiment," the finance minister is quoted in the press release as saying. "Investment outlays also made a positive contribution to GDP growth."

The communiqué pointed out that the economic growth is so-called inclusive growth, or growth from which all social groups benefit. "Evidence of that is the capacity of households to increase their outlays and the very good situation on the labour market. Wage funds are growing rapidly, unemployment is decreasing. 

The registered unemployed rate at the end of 2017 was 6.6 percent. Such a low unemployment rate has not been recorded for 26 years. A fall in the unemployment rate was seen in all provinces. The rate of unemployment reduction is greater in Poland than the EU average, thanks to which Poland is now one of the seven EU countries with the lowest unemployment rates," Teresa Czerwinska observed. 

"The economic results for 2017, including the fourth quarter, the stable budget situation and its security resulting from the tightening of the tax system, represent a good starting point for economic growth in 2018," Minister Czerwinska concluded.