The number of children and youth is for the first time the same as the number of pensioners in Poland. Both groups were 7 million strong in December 2013, according the preliminary reports of Poland’s Central Statistics Agency. This was also the first year in which the Polish government withdrew more from the its Demographic Reserve Fund (FRD), created as a reserve in case of problems with future pension payments, than it paid into the fund from gains from privatization. The fund is dwindling.
The European Union’s new member states from Central and Eastern Europe are required to join the eurozone as part of their accession agreements. But deciding when to adopt the euro is a matter of heated debate. It is not just an economic calculation, but a judgment on the outlook of the single currency itself. For many, the benefits of membership have diminished since the financial crisis, and prospective members, especially Poland, can derive maximum advantage from joining only if they are also clear on what economic conditions must first prevail in their own countries.
Roads, railways and drilling for shale gas are almost certain infrastructure investments for the coming years. Although yesterday the government adopted a nuclear power program, large investments in the power industry, in particular in a nuclear power plant, are uncertain.
According to a recent OECD report entitled “Entrepreneurship at a Glance 2013,” prosperity is difficult without massive, globally competitive companies. The statement is another pebble in Jan Krzysztof Bielecki’s rock garden. Three years ago he suggested building such enterprises in Poland. He is likely to continue to promote this idea.
We specialize in cheaper and lower quality products than Germany because that is our role in the supply chain of multinational corporations. As a result, our exports did not collapse during the crisis in Europe, however the scope for raising their value is limited – say Wojciech Mroczek and Marcin Grela, experts from the NBP Economic Institute.
Four new countries, among them Poland, will be audited as part of the IMF’s Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP). The program assesses financial systems in countries where a crisis would have a significant impact on the global economy, either due to the size of that country’s economy or its interconnectedness with others. We’ll be more important, but also subject to more frequent assessment.
Poland was ranked 50th in terms of economic freedom, up by 7 places, in a poll carried out by the Heritage Foundation and Wall Street Journal (WSJ). According to experts, until the country makes a spectacular leap forward then advancing by 7 places is nothing to get excited about. Investors, who analyze such rankings in much more detail than politicians, see flaws in the Heritage report.
The popularity of the Polish Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity is encouraging a return to the arguments of Nobel Prize winner Milton Friedman. He claimed that state support for underprivileged people is unnecessary, since private donors would give such help of their own accord.
Rarely do new ideas appear among concepts of how to return to speedy growth following economic crisis. Ideas that have already been tested garner the most references. A renewed hope is found in the notion that if the economy can’t fix itself, then the state should do so. And from there it is only a small step to a full return of the state to business.