Central European heavyweight Poland saw its economic growth accelerate in the second quarter of the year, official data showed Wednesday, in a sign of gradual recovery.
The economy grew by a seasonally-adjusted 0.4 percent in the second quarter from the first quarter, up from 0.2-percent growth in the previous three-month period, according to the Central Statistical Office.
"We had experienced quite significant slowdown and the data for the second quarter seem to confirm that the worst is already behind us and that the economy is starting to recover," BZ WBK bank economist Piotr Bielski told AFP.
On an annual comparison, the economy grew by 1.1 percent in the second quarter, up from the 0.7 percent rate in the first quarter of 2013.
"The main driver of growth was probably exports and on top of that we still probably have rather stagnant domestic demand and probably a decrease in investment," Bielski said.
The uptick comes as the eurozone exited recession at last with strong second-quarter growth led by Germany, one of Poland's main trade partners.
But Bielski said Polish exports were growing at the fastest rate to new markets outside the eurozone, including the Middle East, Asia and post-Soviet economies in eastern Europe.
"We are reaching for those markets. This is very important because the geographical diversification of Polish exports means that we will be increasingly immune to the situation in the eurozone," he said.
Poland, the only EU member to have grown each year over the last two decades, saw its economy expand by 1.9 percent last year, down from a 4.5-percent rate in 2011.
The International Monetary Fund predicts the country of 38 million people will see its economy grow by 1.2 percent this year, then 2.2 percent in 2014.
Poland's statistical office also said Wednesday that inflation rose to 1.1 percent in July on an annual basis after falling to a record low of 0.2 percent in June.
On a monthly comparison, consumer prices rose by 0.3 percent in July after zero change in June.
Poland joined the European Union in 2004 but has yet to enter the eurozone, which its finance minister said last month would likely happen in the next 10 years.