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The Warsaw Voice » Business » June 3, 2015
Business & Economy
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Optimistic Forecasts
June 3, 2015   
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The Polish economy is expected to grow faster than most other economies in the European Union this year—though still not fast enough for Poland to be able to substantially narrow the gap with the wealthier countries of Western Europe.

The latest batch of economic data looks optimistic. According to preliminary figures by Poland’s own Central Statistical Office (GUS), Polish gross domestic product grew by a healthy 3.5 percent in the first quarter, while economists had expected 0.1-0.2 percentage points less. The slightly stronger-than-expected acceleration in GDP growth is good news. And, importantly, the country’s economic growth is based on sound fundamentals: low inflation and a decreasing current-account deficit. All this indicates that Poland’s GDP growth this year could be stronger than forecast earlier. According to the government, the Polish economy will grow 3.4 percent in 2015 as a whole—the same rate as last year. In subsequent years, GDP growth is expected to accelerate steadily to 3.8 percent in 2016, 3.9 percent in 2017, and 4.0 percent in 2018.

Foreign experts also expect the Polish economy to pick up speed. According to the latest projections by the European Commission, Poland’s 2015 GDP is expected to grow 3.3 percent, ranking Poland fourth among EU countries—behind Ireland, Malta and Luxembourg. Next year Poland, with GDP growth projected at 3.4 percent, is expected to move up this league table. Experts note that faster GDP growth in Poland is accompanied by an improving labor market and increased investment, and that the Polish economy is revving up despite stumbling blocks abroad, including the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

Meanwhile, people in Poland are mainly interested in seeing their own economic situation improve rather than just forecasts and indicators. This is not yet happening. Wages are rising, but the rate of this growth is still unsatisfactory. The same applies to savings, which remain low. Besides, if Poland wants to catch up with the rich countries of Western Europe within the next two decades or so, it needs its GDP to grow at least twice as fast as at present.
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