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Poland's economy grew 6.4% in Q4 on EU funding

Poland's economy accelerated for a seventh consecutive quarter in the last three months of 2006 as record-low borrowing costs and an inflow of funds from the European Union boosted investment.

GDP grew an annual 6.4%, the statistics office reported in Warsaw, the fastest pace since the Q3 of 2004. The figure is lower than the median 6.5% rate of growth expected by 10 economists surveyed by Bloomberg on February 6-19. Poland's economy has been driven by trade and direct investment, following Poland's entry to the European Union in May 2004. The record-low 4% benchmark rate also prompts companies to borrow more and increase production as well as encourage individuals to take out loans and buy new houses. „Very good figures in the last quarter of 2006 resulted from accelerating absorption of EU funds and exceptionally good weather for construction works,” Ryszard Petru, the chief economist at Bank BPH, said before the report.Q4 investments grew 19.3%, the fastest in seven years and construction also soared 19.3%, while individual consumption gained 5.2%. Industrial output grew 7.8% in the Q3, while services grew 5.8%, the office reported. (Bloomberg)