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Industrial activity is slowly weakening, but pressure on producer prices remains high

In June, industrial production grew 10.4% year-on-year, a bit slower than expected (12-14% YoY) but still double-digit growth. The earlier drivers of economic growth such as a few sectors of heavy industry are slowing, and production of consumer durables is much worse. The decline in demand for consumer durables probably reflects (1) weaker foreign orders, where the jump in gas prices has hit purchasing power and consumer sentiment hard in our major trading partners, (2) possible lower demand from refugees from Ukraine, but also from domestic consumers. These trends were evident earlier in retail sales data.

A further deceleration in manufacturing is indicated by the strong slump in PMI orders. We are facing a technical recession in the second half of the year and its depth will be determined by a number of factors. The first few months after the outbreak of war in Ukraine were still favourable for domestic industry due to the high level of orders and production backlogs, as well as the high output of heavy industry. In the last three months, however, black clouds have begun to gather over the sector. We note a decline in production month-on-month in seasonally-adjusted terms (see graph).

Also, the PMI index has slipped deep below the neutral 50-point level, with a marked decline in new orders, including export orders. Uncertainty related to gas supplies to Germany via Nord Steam 1 could also have serious negative consequences for German industry and the Polish industry that supplies it. After a solid first half of 2022, the following months may bring a marked slowdown. Although leading indicators (including May’s PMI) point to a deteriorating situation in Polish manufacturing, the deceleration of domestic industry has not been abrupt so far.

Full-year GDP growth will be 4.7% YoY in our view, but quarterly data will show a significant deceleration: from 8.5% YoY in 1Q22 to below 1% YoY in 4Q22.

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