Ratings agency Fitch raises Poland's GDP forecast for 2018-19

Global ratings agency Fitch has raised Poland's GDP growth forecast to 4.8 percent from 4.4 percent in 2018 and to 3.6 percent from 3.4 percent in 2019, the agency's Friday report shows. Fitch expects that the Polish economy will start to cool down soon.

Retail sales data show that high consumption growth has continued in the third quarter of the year and the labour market has remained strong, Fitch said, adding that the government's policy should further bolster consumption.

In the second half of the year, investment should become the main growth motor, the agency said.

Fitch expects that the Polish economic growth will slow down after 2018 and predicts that a rate hike cycle will begin in the second half of 2019. Investment is also to cool down as the growth in EU funds spending decreases.

The agency also expressed concern about labour shortages, which together with a slight weakening of the national currency may lead to raising the interest rates by the central bank in the second half of 2019 and in 2020.

Fitch and its peer S&P have scheduled reviews of their credit ratings for Poland for October 12.

Of the three largest agencies, Moody's rates Poland's creditworthiness the highest, at A2. Fitch assigned Poland a rating of "A-" (one level below Moody's). The outlooks of both assessments are evaluated as stable. S&P rates Poland at the "BBB +" level, two levels lower than Moody's, with a positive outlook.