2011 | nr 86 Business Surveys, Business Cycles. Polish Contribution to the 30th CIRET Conference | 39--66
Reasons Why Poland Avoided the 2007-2009 Recession
Poland was the only economy among the European Union members, which avoided the recession of 2007-09. Nevertheless, the impact of global recession was visible in many areas of the Polish economy. The paper analyzes some of the main reasons behind this outstanding performance. The analysis is based on data from business surveys, composite coincident and leading indexes and official statistics on Poland's economy. The reasons are divided into four groups: (1) General economic condition before the global crisis. In this part the large inflow of direct investments and fast growing productivity throughout 2004-2007 are emphasized. (2) Structural factors related to the stage of Poland's economic development. The main factors in this group are: low dependence on business and consumer credit; absence of high risk financial instruments (securities based on US subprime mortgages) in the banking sector; relatively small external ties of the Polish economy with relatively big domestic market. (3) Benefits of the EU membership. Poland benefited from the large share of investments linked to EU transfers since May 2004. It boosted the activity in sectors such as building and construction and reduced the scale of layoffs. (4) Market forces. Despite Poland's goal to join the euro area as soon as possible, its own currency and floating exchange rates helped to enhance Polish export during recession. Strong Polish currency during the period of high oil prices (2007-2008) prevented the economy from increasing costs of production and made imports cheaper. The later depreciation of the zloty (2008-2009) made export goods more competitive on the international markets which prevented Polish exports from declining. Another factor in this group is the absence of any special stimulus programs undertaken by the government. (original abstract)
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