The Polish economy has grown impressively over the last two decades. Living standards (in terms of GDP per capita) have more than doubled over the last 20 years, a process which accelerated when Poland joined the European Union in 2004.
Change in GDP per capita (1990 = 100)
There are a multitude of factors behind Poland’s remarkable performance:
Poland's economic success has been impressive but its past record does not guarantee the same level of economic expansion in the future. As can be seen in the graph below, the growth model underpinning Poland’s success heavily relies on low-to-medium technology sectors with a relatively high share of low-skilled labour.
Share of high-tech and medium high-tech manufacturing in the gross value added of industrial production (in %)
This exposes the country to the risk of the so-called ‘middle-income trap’, where a country’s productivity (and its standard of living) gets trapped at a medium level. To avert this risk and become a high-income, knowledge-based society, Poland needs to implement reforms that:
For more information about Poland's economic performance: