Economic Recovery Knocks on Poland's Door


Artykuł pochodzi z pisma "New Warsaw Express"

The latest data published by the state statistical office this week shows Poland firmly on the road to economic recovery. Growth this year is projected to clear 3 percent, with government ministers now suggesting as much as 3.5 – more than double that expected in most western European economies this year.
For the moment, however, ordinary Poles are seeing little benefit from the improvement. Unemployment remains stubbornly high at just under 18 percent and wages are similarly showing no sign of rising. Most economists agree that the growth is driven by an increase in Polish exporters' competitiveness, itself a reaction to the downward slump of the last two years. But for the economy to really take off, they say, the government must cut a public debt burden which is swiftly slipping out of control.
"If the government does not do something now, then within two years taxes will have to be raised substantially to pay for the deficit," says Krzysztof Rybinski, chief economist with Bank BPH PBK. "This would mean disaster for Polish firms, who are only just beginning to get back to investing."
The problem lies in the fact that cutting the deficit means chopping often politically- based public sector employment, welfare provisions and state payouts to farmers and heavy industry. But with the government's popularity already sunk to almost unprecedented lows, many analysts say the chances for substantial change are receding fast.

STEVEN MULLER

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