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    Poland Economy - 1990

      Overview: The economy, except for the agricultural sector, had followed the Soviet model of state ownership and control of the country's productive assets. About 75% of agricultural production had come from the private sector and the rest from state farms. The economy has presented a picture of moderate but slowing growth against a background of underlying weaknesses in technology and worker motivation. GNP increased between 3% and 6% annually during the period 1983-1986, but grew only 2.5% and 2.1% in 1987 and 1988, respectively. Output dropped by 1.5% in 1989. The inflation rate, after falling sharply from the 1982 peak of 100% to 22% in 1986, rose to a galloping rate of 640% in 1989. Shortages of consumer goods and some food items worsened in 1988-89. Agricultural products and coal have remained the biggest hard currency earners, but manufactures are increasing in importance. Poland, with its hard currency debt of approximately $40 billion, is severely limited in its ability to import much-needed hard currency goods. The sweeping political changes of 1989 disrupted normal economic channels and exacerbated shortages. In January 1990, the new Solidarity-led government adopted a cold turkey program for transforming Poland to a market economy. The government moved to eliminate subsidies, end artificially low prices, make the zloty convertible, and, in general, halt the hyperinflation. These financial measures are accompanied by plans to privatize the economy in stages. Substantial outside aid will be needed if Poland is to make a successful transition in the 1990s.

      GNP: $172.4 billion, per capita $4,565; real growth rate - 1.6% (1989 est.)

      Inflation rate (consumer prices): 640% (1989 est.)

      Unemployment rate: NA%; 215,000 (official number, mid-March 1990)

      Budget: revenues $23 billion; expenditures $24 billion, including capital expenditures of $3.5 billion (1988)

      Exports: $24.7 billion (f.o.b., 1987 est.); commodities--machinery and equipment 63%; fuels, minerals, and metals 14%; manufactured consumer goods 14%; agricultural and forestry products 5% (1987 est.); partners--USSR 25%, FRG 12%, Czechoslovakia 6% (1988)

      Imports: $22.8 billion (f.o.b., 1987 est.); commodities--machinery and equipment 36%; fuels, minerals, and metals 35%; manufactured consumer goods 9%; agricultural and forestry products 12%; partners--USSR 23%, FRG 13%, Czechoslovakia 6% (1988)

      External debt: $40 billion (1989 est.)

      Industrial production: growth rate - 2.0% (1988)

      Electricity: 31,390,000 kW capacity; 125,000 million kWh produced, 3,260 kWh per capita (1989)

      Industries: machine building, iron and steel, extractive industries, chemicals, shipbuilding, food processing, glass, beverages, textiles

      Agriculture: accounts for 15% of GNP and 28% of labor force; 75% of output from private farms, 25% from state farms; productivity remains low by European standards; leading European producer of rye, rapeseed, and potatoes; wide variety of other crops and livestock; major exporter of pork products; normally self-sufficient in food

      Aid: donor--bilateral aid to non-Communist less developed countries, $2.1 billion (1954-88)

      Currency: zloty (plural--zlotych); 1 zloty (Zl) = 100 groszy

      Exchange rates: zlotych (Zl) per US$1--9,500.00 (January 1990), 1,439.18 (1989), 430.55 (1988), 265.08 (1987), 175.29 (1986), 147.14 (1985)

      Fiscal year: calendar year

      NOTE: The information regarding Poland on this page is re-published from the 1990 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Poland Economy 1990 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Poland Economy 1990 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 07-Feb-03
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