Investment and Development Minister Jerzy Kwiecinski said Wed. that GDP growth could hit 5% in 2019, according to comments during an interview with broadcaster Radio Plus. Kwiecinski noted that growth had slowed slightly to some 4.5-4.7%, but that there was still a chance growth could be 5% for the year as investment was looking better and better, in part tied to EU funds. The minister added, though, that many countries were seeing growth slow, which he said was an expectation related to slower growth in Germany and the EU. The situation abroad was the biggest risk to Polish growth, he said.
On EU funds, Kwiecinski said there was no worry they would fall sharply till 2023. The heaviest tempo of EU fund absorption would come in 2019 and 2020, he said, adding this would boost GDP growth. Funds in the post-2020 EU budget will kick in 2024, which could see reduced inflows depending on budget talks to be held this year and possibly early next.
Overall, GDP growth is officially forecast to rise by 4.0%, but forecasts have been ramped up of late. The state news agency PAP reported its latest consensus forecast on Wed., which was upped 0.4pp to 4.6%. Some domestic banks do now forecast GDP growth of 5.0% in 2019, with growth boosted by the government spending program, a bigger-than-expected rise in investment, and resilience in the face of the external slowdown. GDP growth of 5.0% still seems to be tough to hit, but growth will clearly be above the 4.0% expected officially by the government.