Second half of the year growth uncertain: economist

While the stimulus package and the end of lockdown helped sales in June, Rafał Benecki the Chief Economist of ING Bank Śląski told PolandIN that fears about the global economy and COVID-19-led restrictions in the second half of the year temper optimism.

“Poles returned to normal activity with a bit more enthusiasm than others. The big fiscal stimulus probably helped because it sustained employment and propensity to spend at a better levels,” Rafał Benecki said, commenting on the recovery of sales figures and industrial output in June.

Retail sales at constant pricing in June were 1.3 percent lower than in June last year. However, compared to May this year sales grew by 8.4 percent, according to Statistics Poland, suggesting that the worst days of lockdown are behind us.

The ING Bank Śląśki economist said that much of this was pent-up demand on items like furniture and cars, which were difficult to buy during lockdown as production closed down. He also suggested that consumers are buying furniture and doing up their houses because they have been turned into offices and classrooms.

However, his optimism was tempered by fears of a return of restrictions and what would happen to the economy.

“We are worried that if all this stimulus will just disappear and expire, then we will also have the second wave of the virus and also the worries about employment will resurface.

Click here to watch the full interview.