Main characteristics of Poles are over-pessimism and lack of self-confidence. Try to imagine our reaction when during the recent financial crisis Poland was the only country with a positive economic growth. Oh, that was a surprise! (also for non-polish people). Of course, nobody (besides the ruling government) was very optimistic about that and everybody wanted to find negatives of this situation. But, even if we tried really hard, we had to admit that our economy IS strong.
How did it happen?
Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the ex-director of IMF said, “Thanks to strong economic institutions and commendable policy management, Poland has avoided the excesses seen in many other countries in recent years. And because there was sufficient fiscal space to adopt temporary stimulus measures, the impact of the crisis on growth was lessened. Indeed, as the largest economy in the region, Poland is leading the economic recovery.”
Polish businesses rely mainly on their own resources and are less dependent on loans compering to other countries’ which helped our economy. Also, Polish exports level is low (over 30% of GDP compared with 66% in Czech Republic). Other thing is that the consumer spending in Poland is relatively high. “An exceptionally strong rise in household incomes, caused by the growth in wages and social benefits and reduced tax burdens (lower pension contributions beginning from 2008 and lower personal income tax rates from 2009), will fuel rapid growth in consumption” (http://skarb.bzwbk.pl/_items/english/doc/pmr-0802en.pdf)
So, how was Poland affected by the economic turbulence of 2008/2009?
Firstly, as mentioned before, Polish GDP achieved the best and the only positive rate in the EU. In the first quarter of 2009 increased by 1.9% and in the second quarter by 1.4%.
Secondly, the inflation in 2010 was 2.6%, a significantly lower result than 3.5% year before. The decrease resulted mainly from stabilizing economic situation.
Thirdly, according to the Polish Information and Foreign Investment “unfortunately, the worldwide crisis brought huge jump in unemployment rate. In the worst month of 2010 it was 13.2%, the worst result since 2007. Recently unemployment has slightly decreased but still it is considered to be high.”
In conclusion, welcome to the 6th most attractive investment location in the world!
That’s what a think.