July 20, 2018 / 9:18 AM / 10 months ago

Polish retail sales up as amid record-low unemployment

FILE PHOTO: Shoppers use escalators as they visit a shopping mall in Warsaw, Poland November 6, 2017. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/File Photo

WARSAW (Reuters) - Poles rushed to the shops in June as low unemployment and rising wages drove double-digit growth in retail sales, analysts said.

Retail sales rose 10.3 percent year-on-year in June, above an expected 7.9 percent gain, the statistics office said on Friday, confirming the economy was in good shape fueled by domestic consumption. Gross domestic product is expected to rise by more than 5 percent in the second quarter.

Poles bought more cars, furniture, electronics, foods and fuels last month, buoyed by confidence about the job market, which has had to rely more on foreign labor, mainly from Ukraine.

The unemployment rate in Poland fell in June to 5.9 percent.

“The main stimulus of retail sales comes from households’ improving economic situation, which is an effect of the favorable job market situation from workers’ point of view,” Monika Kurtek, chief economist at Bank Pocztowy said in a report.

In June wages in companies rose by 7.5 percent year-on-year.

“It seems that the data confirm the very high demand in the second quarter, and a very good GDP dynamics. Such high consumption growth may influence inflation,” Jaroslaw Jancecki, chief economist at Societe Generale in Warsaw said.

Reporting by Anna Koper; Writing by Marcin Goclowski; Editing by Toby Chopra

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