Poland flag Poland: Economic outline

Economic Outline

Economic Indicators

For the latest updates on the key economic responses from governments to address the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, please consult the IMF's policy tracking platform Policy Responses to COVID-19.

Poland has emerged as a dynamic market over the past 25 years and has become a major actor within Europe, being the tenth-largest economy in the EU. The country recovered well from the global Covid-19-induced crisis, with GDP returning to its pre-pandemic level already in the second quarter of 2021. In 2022, the Polish economy grew an estimated 3.8% with industrial output and retail sales expanding at a solid pace in the first semester of the year. Private consumption also grew, partly boosted by Ukrainian refugee spending and by the recovery from the pandemic, but investment slowed sharply. Economic growth is set to turn negative at the beginning of 2023 due to elevated cost pressures and increasing financing costs. However, private consumption is expected to remain strong and overall growth should pick up over the year, with the IMF expecting GDP growth to enter positive territory (+0.5%). In 2024, the easing of supply bottlenecks should support exports, with growth forecasted at 3.1%.

An expansionary fiscal policy and income tax cuts lead to an increase in the general government deficit in 2022, estimated at 4.2% of GDP (was 3.1% one year earlier). The measures taken to mitigate the impact of rising energy prices included the lowering of VAT rates, cash heating subsidies to households, and a multi-annual support scheme for energy-intensive industries and weighted for around 2.1% of GDP. Despite a multi-annual programme of investment in defence that should increase spending in this area up to 3% of GDP per year, the IMF sees a lower budget deficit in 2023 (3.7% of GDP). The country’s debt-to-GDP ratio is relatively low and was estimated at 48.7% in 2022. It is forecast to decrease further this year (to 45.1%) before picking up again in 2024 (46.2% - IMF). Rising energy prices, growing demand and supply-side bottlenecks have contributed to a steady and robust hike in inflation, which reached a record-high level of 13.8% in 2022. Continued wage growth, the pass-through of elevated energy prices, and significant policy support are set to continue fuelling core inflation, which is projected at 14.3% in 2023, before it decelerates to 4.3% towards the end of 2024.
The unemployment rate has been structurally low in recent years (just above 3%), though around one in four employees have temporary contracts, twice the EU average. The labour market has proved resilient to the crisis, although emerging labour shortages could act as a significant drag on employment growth in the near future. In 2022, minimum wage rises and tax changes associated with the “Polish Deal” fiscal stimulus programme added to wage pressures but partly helped households purchasing power. Nevertheless, the European Commission warns that a higher-than-expected increase in inflation arising from supply constraints and labour shortages may weigh on purchasing power and private consumption growth. The average unemployment rate stood at 2.8% in 2022 and is seen to increase only slightly over the forecast horizon, to 3.2% this year and 3.4% in 2024 (IMF). The GDP per capita (PPP) of Polish citizens was USD 42,466 in 2022, still 21.3% lower than that of the EU-27 (data IMF). Finally, there are still large disparities between the east and the west of the country.

Main Indicators 20222023 (E)2024 (E)2025 (E)2026 (E)
GDP (billions USD) 690.68842.17880.06928.94986.48
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change)
GDP per Capita (USD) 18,34322,39323,43424,77826,365
General Government Balance (in % of GDP) -2.1-4.0-5.0-5.1-5.3
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP) 49.149.852.253.956.0
Inflation Rate (%) n/a12.
Unemployment Rate (% of the Labour Force)
Current Account (billions USD) -20.778.422.890.64-3.68
Current Account (in % of GDP) -

Source: IMF – World Economic Outlook Database, 2016

Note: (e) Estimated Data

Monetary Indicators 20162017201820192020
Polish Zloty (PLN) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 ZAR

Source: World Bank, 2015


Return to top

Any Comment About This Content? Report It to Us.


© eexpand, All Rights Reserved.
Latest Update: November 2023