Poland's GDP growth slows in quarter, dragged down by weakness abroad.

Credit: REUTERS/KACPER PEMPEL

Poland's economic growth slowed in the second quarter, a first estimate by the statistics office showed on Wednesday, as weak economies abroad offset strong domestic consumption.

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WARSAW, Aug 14 (Reuters) - Poland's economic growth slowed in the second quarter, a first estimate by the statistics office showed on Wednesday, as weak economies abroad offset strong domestic consumption.

Polish gross domestic product PLGDP=ECI GDP grew 4.4% year-on-year in the second quarter compared with a 4.7% rise in the first. Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast growth of 4.5%.

Industry and construction slowed but domestic consumer demand strengthened in the second quarter,Anita Perzyna, deputy director of the statistic office's national accounts department, told reporters.

"Domestic demand is the shield of the economy, while a weak external environment should keep weighing on growth in the second half of the year," Erste Group analyst Katarzyna Rzentarzewska said in a note.

Domestic consumption in central Europe's largest economy has been fuelled by state spending on social benefits. That's helped it weather a slowdown in its western neighbours and grow by 4% to 5% annually since the beginning of 2017.

Poland's biggest trading partner, Germany, saw its economy go into reverse in the second quarter as exports slumped.

"Balance of payments data indicate that net exports will support economic growth on a smaller scale than in Q1," Bank Millennium analysts said in a note.

"Weaker export results also indicate that the domestic economy was no longer as resistant to a strong slowdown abroad as in the beginning of the year."

Polish exports rose 4.3% to 115.2 billion euros in January to June, Statistics Office data showed on Wednesday. In January to May, exports grew 6.8%.

"We can expect an almost neutral impact of net exports on economic growth," Perzyna said referring to the second quarter.

The statistics office said seasonally adjusted GDP rose 0.8% in the second quarter from the first. It grew a revised 1.4% in the previous quarter.

(Reporting by Anna Koper; Writing by Alan Charlish;)

((alan.charlish@thomsonreuters.com; +48 22 653 9723;))

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