UPDATE 1-Polish PM promises stronger growth by year-end
KRYNICA, Poland, Sept 3 (Reuters) - Poland's economy will accelerate to grow 2 percent year-on-year in the final quarter of this year and 3 percent in the first quarter of next, Prime Minister Donald Tusk said on Tuesday in a speech to the country's biggest annual business summit.
Opening the conference in the southern mountain resort of Krynica, Tusk unveiled new and more bullish forecasts from a government under growing pressure in parliament ahead of regional elections next year.
His Civic Platform party's opinion poll ratings have fallen steadily in the past year largely because of the collapse of an economic miracle which made Poland the only European economy to avoid recession through five years of financial turmoil.
The economy slowed almost to a halt at the turn of this year and private sector analysts are only just beginning to become more bullish after a still meagre 0.8 percent expansion in the second quarter.
"We expect the fourth quarter economic growth at above 2 percent," Tusk said. "In the whole of 2013 Poland's economy could expand by 1.5 percent."
Data published in the past days, including the leading PMI indicator based on a survey of purchasing managers, showed that the European Union's largest eastern economy may be recovering faster than previously expected.
Tusk also said he would announce long-awaited changes in Poland's pension system on Wednesday. The government has committed to overhaul the current system - under which mandatory savings go both into a state pension part and private funds - in a move to reduce public debt and give Warsaw more scope to soften the impact of the economic slowdown.
(Reporting by Pawel Bernat and Wojciech Zurawski; Writing by Dagmara Leszkowicz; editing by Patrick Graham)