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Covid-19 economy Poland Vaccine Commentary

Opinion: Extraordinary measures are needed to exit the recession

Financial “shields” won’t last forever and lockdowns merely slow the virus down; only vaccines can stop the pandemic, writes Krzysztof Adam Kowalczyk for Rzeczpospolita daily

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Krzysztof Adam Kowalczyk

How fast we exit the current crisis will depend mainly on companies producing the coronavirus vaccine; but, to a lesser extent, it also depends on the economic policies of the EU and the Polish Government. Extraordinary solutions are required.

If someone had told me a year ago that in January 2021 we’d be seeing data indicating the first recession in Poland since 1991, I would have thought they were insane. For many, the current recession is “like a bad dream.”

On the back of 2019’s 4.5 percent GDP increase, it is a shock; however, it is a small recession compared to the average 7.9 percent GDP drop in the EU.

We owe this to the structure of the Polish economy, which is not as dependent as Western economies on the sectors knocked out by the virus. Polish exports and industrial activity especially showed incredible resilience to the crisis. Despite the panicked border closures, these areas quickly regained their stability and learned to operate despite the virus.

In the spring, “helicopter money” for companies helped contain the shock in the wake of mass firings. These funds were widely distributed by state institutions and were mostly financed by the central bank.