BMI remains fundamentally positive about the Polish economy, although a little below consensus in our growth forecasts. Underpinning this is our view that domestic consumption will remain strong, stimulated by low inflation, rising employment and low interest rates.
Household consumption represents a larger share of the Polish economy - around 60% - than in some of its Central European neighbours (around 50% for Slovakia and the Czech Republic). This gives Poland extra resilience to any headwinds coming from the external environment. That said, we are also positive about the contribution net exports will make to the country's ongoing recovery. This, however, is where we are a little more cautious than the consensus. We see risks that declining Asia demand will feed through into weaker German factory output, in turn dampening demand from Polish supply chains.
For 2014, we are forecasting real GDP growth of 2.8% versus consensus forecasts of 3.2%. Nonetheless, the acceleration in economic activity remains reasonably robust, and domestic and external conditions will remain accommodating. We expect growth to gather pace to 3.1% next year. Poland should achieve average annual growth of 3.3% over the next five years.
We continue to project positive growth for the country's major maritime ports in 2014. After a slow start to the year, the Port of Gdansk, which is seeing ongoing capacity expansion and consolidating its gateway role, is performing dynamically. Gdynia is also expected to see steady growth.
Headline Industry Data
2014 port of Gdansk tonnage throughput forecast to grow 8.0% year-on-year (y-o-y) to 32.68mn tonnes. Over the medium term to 2018, we project a 7.7% average annual increase.
2014 port of Gdansk container throughput forecast to grow 12.0% to 1.318mn twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). Over the medium term, we project a 10.7% average annual increase.
Port of Gdynia tonnage to increase 9.6% to19.353mn tonnes, with five-year average annual growth...