In its latest Inflation Report, released on Monday, the National Bank of Poland (NBP) said that "economic activity continues to be heavily affected by the current epidemic situation caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the level of the restrictions in force in Poland and other countries."
But the Polish central bank added that the country's GDP "is expected to return to its pre-pandemic level in mid-2021," and then grow by more than 5 percent in the next two years.
The bank also said that the economy "will return to the growth path" in the second quarter of 2021, "yet this will be contingent on the normalisation of the epidemic situation, a recovery in activity abroad and an improvement in the private demand outlook."
The central bank also forecast in its latest report that Poland’s GDP would grow by 5.4 percent in 2023.
In its November projection, the bank said it expected the Polish economy to grow 3.1 percent in 2021 and 5.7 percent in 2022.
Polish GDP contracted 2.8 percent in the final quarter of last year, the country’s Central Statistical Office (GUS) said in a preliminary estimate at the end of last month.
The state-run statistics agency previously reported that Polish GDP fell by 1.5 percent in the third quarter of last year, after shrinking 8.4 percent in the second quarter, and achieving 2 percent growth in the first three months of 2020.
The Polish economy contracted by 2.8 percent in 2020 as a whole, according to the Central Statistical Office.
Polish 2020 GDP contraction among mildest in EU
The European Commission has said that Poland’s economy went into a recession last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the contraction was among the mildest in the EU.
The EU executive predicted in its Winter 2021 European Economic Forecast that Poland’s GDP would grow 3.1 percent this year and expand by 5.1 percent in 2022.
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said last month that Poland was among the European Union’s most financially stable economies, with a high level of fiscal stability and low risk in terms of public finances.
He also said that Poland has weathered the coronavirus storm in a better condition than some of Europe's wealthiest economies.
Morawiecki said in early February that, despite the coronavirus pandemic, Poland would not only avoid a recession this year, but enjoy a strong economic recovery, seeing its GDP grow by no less than 4 percent.
Poland's President Andrzej Duda in January signed the country’s budget for 2021, which expects the economy to grow 4 percent, with inflation targeted at 1.8 percent.
The Polish economy expanded by 4.5 percent in 2019, after registering 5.3 percent growth in 2018, according to the Central Statistical Office.
Source: PAP, nbp.pl