WARSAW, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Poland's industrial output rose slightly less than expected in August due to a weak performance in the construction sector, although growth is expected to accelerate in the months ahead.
Industrial output rose by an annual 2.2 percent last month, Statistics Office data showed, less than the 2.85 percent rise forecast by analysts and well below July's 6.3 percent jump.
Output in the construction sector, which has been struggling for many months now due to an economic slowdown, shrank 11.1 percent.
Markets shrugged off the weaker than expected rise, with both the zloty and bonds largely unchanged, and analysts said they expected the figures to strengthen in the months ahead.
'September should bring an improvement for Polish industry, and today's data do not erase the economy's chances for a gradual recovery in the next few months,' Invest Bank wrote in a note to clients.
The finance ministry also said the slowdown would likely be short-lived.
'The figure was worse than we had expected. But there was one less working day last month, and for a few months now there is a clear tendency for industrial output, seasonally adjusted, to grow,' Deputy Finance Minister Janusz Cichon said.
'We believe that industrial output will rise by almost 5 percent year-on-year in the third quarter compared with 1.3 percent in the second.'
Poland's economy, which nearly fell into recession at the turn of the year, is widely expected to gradually recover. The country's gross domestic product grew by 0.8 percent year-on-year in the second quarter, up from 0.5 percent in the first.
(Reporting by Adrian Krajewski and Pawel Sobczak; Writing by Karolina Slowikowska; Editing by Hugh Lawson) Keywords: POLAND OUTPUT/
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