Retail sales likely to slow down says PKO BP bank

Darek Delmanowicz/PAP

PKO BP, Poland’s biggest lender, has warned that the current rate of increases in retail sales is “unsustainable.”

Poland's retail sales increased in real terms by 19.0 percent year on year and fell by 0.1 percent month on month in April 2022, the Central Statistical Office (GUS) said on Monday.

But in a commentary on the GUS data, the bank said that such a high figure is likely "unsustainable" because in May 2021 customers had rushed to shops and increased sales owing to a stabilising pandemic, and this May's retail sales will refer to that higher base.

"What is more, high inflation and the stabilisation of real incomes will reduce the consumption of goods and services regarded as less essential," the bank predicted.

"On the other hand, the surprising resilience of the real corporate wage growth, tax cuts coming into force in July and refugee spending will probably be enough to ensure 'a soft landing' for consumption," PKO BP added.

In current prices, retail sales increased by 33.4 percent in April, which PKO BP said was the highest rise since 2000, when comparable data started to be collected.

According to the bank, the retail sales data provide an argument for Poland's central bank to continue its monetary tightening cycle.