The European Commission has increased the GDP growth forecast in Poland in 2021 from 4.0% to 4.8%. At the same time, the forecast for 2022 is close to the estimate issued two months ago (5.2%, versus 5.4%).
The European Commission strongly emphasises the increase in economic activity during the first quarter of this year (1.1% in relation to the previous quarter), supported by resumed activity of our trading partners and an increase in consumer and producer confidence. The main factor influencing this positive change in activity was the increase in capital expenditure, including a particularly strong increase in expenditure on machinery and equipment in manufacturing. The gradual removal of restrictions has allowed consumption to grow, supported by a stable labour market.
The European Commission estimates that activity should gradually pick up as restrictions are raised. The areas expected to improve include consumption, supported by rising consumer confidence indicators and previously enforced savings, and investments, supported by the Recovery Plan measures, low financing costs and improved sentiments of manufacturers. International trade should also dynamically develop, but exports will grow more slowly in comparison to imports.
The European Commission sees a noticeable price increase during the first half of 2021, linked to rising energy prices, disruptions in global generation chains and the increasing prices of outlays. The pressure is expected to continue in the upcoming months as demand recovers, driving the prices throughout 2021 by 4% (HICP), while in 2022 the pressure should become limited, and the inflation should decrease down to 3.1% (also measured by HICP).
It must be noted that the improvement in the assessment of the prospects for the Polish economy is partly due to the improvement in the prospects for the EU as a whole, but it is stronger.
In 2021, the EU is expected to increase at the same rate as Poland, i.e. 4.8%. The spring forecast indicated that the growth in Poland (4%) would be slower than in the EU (4.2%). In 2022, Polish economy (5.2%) will grow faster than the entirety of the EU (4.5%). Here, however, grade changes are much lower. The quarterly activity change profile shows that, according to the European Commission, Poland reached the level equal the fourth quarter of 2019 already in the second quarter of this year, while the EU as a whole, as well as in the euro area, this is going to occur only in the fourth quarter. In the fourth quarter of 2021, the level of activity in Poland is going to exceed the time before the pandemic crisis by 3.5%.