In 2021, Poland's GDP value grew to 2.62 trillion zloty. The real GDP in Poland is expected to reach 1.7 percent in 2023. In 2020, the GDP rate fell by 2.5 percent due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pandemic has also significantly affected the labor market. Many industries' lockdowns caused the registered unemployment rate to rise in 2020 for the first time since 2013. Despite this, Poland is a country that has one of the lowest unemployment rates compared to EU countries.
Despite increasing government revenue and sealing the VAT tax gap to its lowest level since 2008, Poland's economy is struggling with growing public debt. The COVID-19 pandemic government aid programs to stimulate the economy and support entrepreneurs have caused a sharp increase in public debt, which reached 57.5 percent of GDP in 2020. In 2021, the debt fell to 53.8 percent. For comparison, the appropriate level of the national debt is assumed to be a limit of 60 percent of GDP.
Since 2015 Polish foreign trade has recorded a surplus in the exchange of goods with foreign countries, which means more exported goods than imported. The COVID-19 pandemic has not hampered Polish exports. In 2020, the surplus reached a record value of 47.2 billion zloty, and exports increased by almost one percent, amounting to about 240 billion euros. However, in 2022, the balance in foreign trade was negative at 92.5 billion zloty. The country's main exports are machinery and transport equipment, furniture, apparel, and prepared foodstuffs.
Continuously since 1990, Germany has been Poland's leading trading partner. However, Germany's share of exports has declined by more than nine percentage points since 1995. Nevertheless, the value of exports with Germany amounted to 95.6 billion euros in 2022. In comparison, exports of goods to France amounted to 19.7 billion euros and the USA to 10.3 billion euros. Poland is also one of Germany's main trading partners. The country's share of exports to Poland was nearly 5.71 percent in 2021, worth 78.6 billion euros.
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