Polish Economy

Since 1990s, when Poland started process of economic transformation, the country has successfully constructed an efficiently opertaing market economy. Joining the EU in 2004 was an important milestone for the development of the country and it has provided a stimulus for further economic growth. Despite the global recesion Poland’s GDP increased during 2008 and 2009, respectively by 4.8% and 1.7%. Poland proved to be less susceptible to the economic turmoil than other EU countries and was the only which reported a GDP growth in this period of time.

OECD forecast that further Poland’s GDP growth will be sustained by infrastructure investments, partly financed by EU funds, and driven to some extend by the 2012 football championship. Gradually improving labour market, rebounding consumer and business confidence, and increased foreign capital inflows are also considered as a driving force behind Polish economy.

Indicator 2009 2010 2011 2012
GDP 1.7 3.5 3.9 4.2
Gross fixed capital formation -1.1 0.1 8.4 9.2
Private consumption 2.0 2.8 3.2 4.0
Exports (goods and services) -6.8 10.0 6.9 7.7
Imports (goods and services) -12.4 10.2 7.5 8.2
Harmonised index of index of consumer prices 4.0 2.6 2.9 3.0
Unemployment (a) 8.2 9.5 9.2 8.5
General government gross debt (b) 50.9 55.5 57.2 59.6

(a) Eurostat definition, (b) as a percentage of GDP 

FDI and foreign trade​

According to the Central Statistical Office (GUS) the value of exports in current pieces totalled PLN 344.7 billion and the value of imports was PLN 381.3 billion. The volume of Polish foreign trade was increasing at a fast pace in first 9 moths of 2010. For that time a growth in exports and imports amounted respectively to 10.4% and 11.2% when compared to the previous year. The trade deficit for three quarters of 2010 was PLN 36.6 billion against PLN 30.8 billion a year earlier.
In the period of January – November 2010 a negative balances were noted in trade with developing countries (- EUR 17.7 billion) and with CEE countries (- EUR 5.5 billion). At the same period of time a positive balance was observed in the turnover with developed countries amounting to EUR 11.2 billion, including EUR 14.1 billion with EU countries. The share of developed countries in Poland’s export was 84.7% (including EU 78.8%), and 66.9% in imports (EU – 59.1%), as compared with 85.6% (EU – 79.7%) and 69.3% (EU – 62.1%) respectively in 2009. The share of Germany, a strategically crucial country for Poland, in exports was lower by 0.3 points at 26.1% than in 2009 and by 0.6 points lower in imports – 21.9%. The positive trade balance with Germany amounted to EUR 2 billion as compared with EUR 1.6 billion a year earlier.
A significant level of foreign direct investments is considered as a sign of confidence that the foreign investors perceive Poland as a safe place for doing business. According to the National Bank of Poland, in 2009 the FDI amounted to EUR 8.6 billion. The FDI inflow in first half of 2010 exceeded EUR 6.3 billion being 78% higher than in the same period of the previous year. To the most targeted sectors in first 9 months of 2010 ​belonged: BPO, electronics, automotive, biotechnology, R&D and avaition.​

 In the first half of 2010 s much as 75% of greenfield investment came from Europe, the remaining part from America. ​The most important sectors of greenfield investment were: industry (29%), sales and marketing (19%), retail sales (13%), construction (10%) and services for business (9%).

According to latest forecasts by the National Bank of Poland (NBP), 2011 should see foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow to Poland rise from this year’s EUR 9.8 mld to around EUR 12.7 mld.

International rankings

Index Rank Countries reviewed

Human Development Index 2010

41st

169

Corruption Perceptions Index 2010

41st

178

OECD Working time

2nd

27

Index of Economic Freedom 2011

68th

157

Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index 2010

32nd

178

UNICEF

14th

21

Networked Readiness Index 2010–2011

62nd

138

OICA Automobile Production 2010

18th

48