February 15, 2014 / 11:37 AM / in 4 years

Polish PM says 2014 GDP growth to exceed 3 percent

OPOLE, Poland (Reuters) - Poland’s economic growth this year will likely exceed 3 percent compared to 1.6 percent last year, Prime Minister Donald Tusk said on Saturday.

Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk arrives at a news conference to present a reshuffle in his government, at Prime Minister's Chancellery in Warsaw November 20, 2013. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

“I am an optimist and if I had to bet I would predict growth of over 3 percent in 2014,” Tusk told a press conference to launch the building of two new units at a coal-fired power plant in the southern city of Opole.

The 2014 budget bill assumes economic growth this year will accelerate to 2.5 percent, while analysts polled by Reuters have put it at 3.1 percent.

“We deliberately set a cautious budget assumption ... Poland would like to surprise Europe with its GDP growth also in the coming years,” Tusk added.

His comments follow the statistics office saying on Friday that Poland’s growth accelerated to 2.7 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter, up from 1.9 percent in the previous quarter.

The prime minister said accelerating GDP growth and consequently higher demand for electricity was the main reason the government decided to push through the project to expand the Opole plant with two new 900-megawatt units for 11.6 billion zlotys ($3.83 billion). ($1 = 3.0308 Polish zlotys)

Reporting by Wojciech Zurawski, writing by Pawel Bernat, editing by David Evans

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