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Poland Economy 1999

    Economy—overview: Poland today stands out as one of the most successful and open transition economies. The privatization of small and medium state-owned companies and a liberal law on establishing new firms marked the rapid development of a private sector now responsible for 70% of economic activity. In contrast to the vibrant expansion of private non-farm activity, the large agriculture component remains handicapped by structural problems, surplus labor, inefficient small farms, and lack of investment. The government's determination to enter the EU as soon as possible affects all aspects of its economic policies. Improving Poland's worsening current account deficit also is a priority. To date, the government has resisted pressure for protectionist solutions and continues to support regional free trade initiatives. The government export strategy emphasizes a more aggressive export assistance program. Warsaw continues to hold the budget deficit to less than 2% of GDP. Further progress on public finance depends mainly on comprehensive reform of the social welfare system and privatization of Poland's remaining state sector. Restructuring and privatization of "sensitive sectors" (e.g., coal, steel, and telecommunications) has begun. Long-awaited privatizations in aviation and energy are scheduled for 1999.

    GDP: purchasing power parity—$263 billion (1998 est.)

    GDP—real growth rate: 5.6% (1998 est.)

    GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$6,800 (1998 est.)

    GDP—composition by sector:
    agriculture: 5.1%
    industry: 26.6%
    services: 68.3% (1997)

    Population below poverty line: 23.8% (1993 est.)

    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: 4%
    highest 10%: 22.1% (1992)

    Inflation rate (consumer prices): 11% (1998 est.)

    Labor force: 17.4 million (1998 est.)

    Labor force—by occupation: industry and construction 29.9%, agriculture 26%, services 44.1% (1996)

    Unemployment rate: 10% (1998)

    revenues: $36.5 billion
    expenditures: $38.3 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1997 est.)

    Industries: machine building, iron and steel, coal mining, chemicals, shipbuilding, food processing, glass, beverages, textiles

    Industrial production growth rate: 7.9% (1998 est.)

    Electricity—production: 134.731 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—production by source:
    fossil fuel: 97.09%
    hydro: 2.91%
    nuclear: 0%
    other: 0% (1996)

    Electricity—consumption: 132.291 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—exports: 7.925 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—imports: 5.485 billion kWh (1996)

    Agriculture—products: potatoes, fruits, vegetables, wheat; poultry, eggs, pork, beef, milk, cheese

    Exports: $27.2 billion (f.o.b., 1997)

    Exports—commodities: manufactured goods, chemicals 57%, machinery and equipment 21%, food and live animals 12%, mineral fuels 7%, other 3%

    Exports—partners: Germany 32.9%, Russia 8.4%, Italy 5.9%, Ukraine 4.7%, Netherlands 4.7%, France 4.4%

    Imports: $38.5 billion (f.o.b., 1997)

    Imports—commodities: manufactured goods, chemical 43%, machinery and equipment 36%, mineral fuels 9%, food and live animals 8%, other 4%

    Imports—partners: Germany 24.1%, Italy 9.9%, Russia 6.3%, UK 5.5%, US 4.5%, France 5.9%

    Debt—external: $42 billion (1997)

    Economic aid—recipient: $4.312 billion (1995)

    Currency: 1 zloty (Zl) = 100 groszy

    Exchange rates: zlotych (Zl) per US$1—3.5409 (January 1999), 3.4754 (1998), 3.2793 (1997), 2.6961 (1996), 2.4250 (1995); note—a currency reform on 1 January 1995 replaced 10,000 old zlotys with 1 new zloty; 22,723 (1994)

    Fiscal year: calendar year

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)