Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 03/12/2014 -- Strengthening Recovery On The Cards In 2014
BMI is has become a little more optimistic about the Polish economy, relative to our last quarterly shipping report. We now estimate 2013 GDP growth at 1.4% (marginally up from 1.3%) and forecast 2014 growth to gather pace to 2.6% (up from 2.3%). As far as the dynamics are concerned we believe the recession of the first half of 2013 has bottomed out and growth is being driven by a recovery in eurozone export demand, coupled with stronger consumer demand on the domestic market. At home low inflation, solid wage growth, and an improving labour market are all helping strengthen household purchasing power.
Politically the Civic Platform administration of Prime Minister Donald Tusk has been doing poorly in the opinion polls and relies on a dangerously slim parliamentary majority. The opposition Law and Justice party has benefited from popular dissatisfaction with corruption and currently has an opinion poll lead of almost ten percentage points. That said, we believe the balance of probabilities is that the Civic Platform will serve out its term to October 2015, and do better as the economy gradually improves.
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Within this context, the outlook for the country's freight transport modes is mixed. After a slow 2013, greater GDP and foreign trade growth in 2014 will make a positive contribution. Some freight modes will have the additional benefit of increases in capacity or extra demand because of Poland's role as a gateway into north-eastern Europe. The port of Gdansk is an example, still enjoying double-digit expansion, reflecting the rapid development of its capacity, as well as its good business links. The largest global container line, Maersk Line, is its customer, and the shipping company now offers the facility as a port of call on some of its direct Asia-Europe services.
Headline Industry Data
- 2014 air freight tonnage is expected to grow by 5.2% (up from an estimated 4.9% in 2013);
- 2014 rail freight is forecast to grow by 2.1%, after a 4.2% fall the preceding year;;
- 2014 Port of Gdansk bulk tonnage throughput is forecast to grow by a still-strong 10.9% (slower than the estimated 17% surge in 2013);
- 2014 road freight is forecast to grow by 2.6%, after contraction of 2.4% in 2013;
- 2014 inland waterway freight is forecast to grow by 2.7% (-2.7% in 2013);
- 2014 total real trade growth is forecast at 3.3%, up from 2.5% in 2013.
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