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Poland's history as a state begins near the middle of the 10th century. By the mid-16th century, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth ruled a vast tract of land in central and eastern Europe. During the 18th century, internal disorders weakened the nation, and in a series of agreements between 1772 and 1795, Russia, Prussia, and Austria partitioned Poland among themselves. Poland regained its independence in 1918 only to be overrun by Germany and the Soviet Union in World War II. It became a Soviet satellite state following the war, but its government was comparatively tolerant and progressive. Labor turmoil in 1980 led to the formation of the independent trade union "Solidarity" that over time became a political force with over ten million members. Free elections in 1989 and 1990 won Solidarity control of the parliament and the presidency, bringing the Communist era to a close. A "shock therapy" program during the early 1990s enabled the country to transform its economy into one of the most robust in Central Europe. Poland joined NATO in 1999 and the European Union in 2004. With its transformation to a democratic, market-oriented country largely completed, Poland is an increasingly active member of Euro-Atlantic organizations.


Economy

Economy - overview
Poland has pursued a policy of economic liberalization since 1990 and today stands out as a success story among transition economies. It is the only country in the European Union to avoid a recession through the 2008-09 economic downturn, although GDP per capita is still much below the EU average. Since 2004, EU membership and access to EU structural funds have provided a major boost to the economy. Unemployment has been 2% more than the EU average. Inflation reached a low of about 2.6% in 2010 due to the global economic slowdown, but climbed to 4.3% in 2011. Poland's economic performance could improve over the longer term if the country addresses some of the remaining deficiencies in its road and rail infrastructure and its business environment. An inefficient commercial court system, a rigid labor code, bureaucratic red tape, burdensome tax system, and persistent low-level corruption keep the private sector from performing up to its full potential. Weak revenues, together with rising demands to fund healthcare, education, and the state pension system caused the public sector budget deficit to rise to 7.8% of GDP in 2010, but the PO/PSL coalition government, which came to power in November 2007, took measures to shore up public finances - including increasing contributions to the public pension scheme at the expense of private pension funds - and reduced the deficit to 2.9% of GDP in 2011. For 2012 the coalition government has proposed further deficit-reducing reforms and to fulfill its promise to enact business-friendly reforms.

Gdp (purchasing power parity) World Ranking: 21
$781.5 billion (2011 est.)
$749 billion (2010 est.)
$720.6 billion (2009 est.)
Note Data are in 2011 US dollars


 
Gdp (official exchange rate)
$513.8 billion (2011 est.)

Gdp - real growth rate World Ranking: 85
4.4% (2011 est.)
3.9% (2010 est.)
1.6% (2009 est.)

Gdp - per capita (ppp) World Ranking: 60
$20,600 (2011 est.)
$19,600 (2010 est.)
$18,900 (2009 est.)
Note Data are in 2011 US dollars

Gdp - composition by sector
Agriculture 3.4%
Industry 33.6%
Services 63% (2011 est.)


 
Labor force World Ranking: 34
17.85 million (2011 est.)

Labor force - by occupation
Agriculture 17.4%
Industry 29.2%
Services 53.4% (2005)

Unemployment rate World Ranking: 131
12.4% (2011 est.)
12.1% (2010 est.)

Population below poverty line
17% (2003 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10% 3.3%
Highest 10% 27.1% (2009 est.)

Distribution of family income - gini index World Ranking: 90
34.2 (2008)
31.6 (1998)

Investment (gross fixed) World Ranking: 85
20.9% of GDP (2011 est.)

Budget
Revenues $92.24 billion
Expenditures $100.6 billion (2011 est.)

Taxes and other revenues World Ranking: 182
18% of GDP (2011 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) World Ranking: 70
-1.6% of GDP (2011 est.)

Public debt World Ranking: 49
56.7% of GDP (2011 est.)
52.8% of GDP (2010 est.)
Note
Data cover general government debt, and includes debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities, the data include subnational entities, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions

Inflation rate (consumer prices) World Ranking: 107
4.3% (2011 est.)
2.6% (2010 est.)

Central bank discount rate World Ranking: 97
4% (31 December 2010 est.)
3.5% (31 December 2009 est.)

Commercial bank prime lending rate World Ranking: 114
8.2% (31 December 2011 est.)
8.367% (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of narrow money World Ranking: 25
$136.9 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$151.5 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of broad money World Ranking: 38
$258.8 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$261.3 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of domestic credit World Ranking: 33
$340.5 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$303.1 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares World Ranking: 35
$138.2 billion (31 December 2011)
$190.2 billion (31 December 2010)
$135.3 billion (31 December 2009)

Agriculture - products
Potatoes, fruits, vegetables, wheat; poultry, eggs, pork, dairy

Industries
Machine building, iron and steel, coal mining, chemicals, shipbuilding, food processing, glass, beverages, textiles

Industrial production growth rate World Ranking: 43
6.9% (2011 est.)

Electricity - production World Ranking: 22
141.8 billion kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - consumption World Ranking: 23
132.2 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - exports
9.594 billion kWh (2009)

Electricity - imports
2.191 billion kWh (2009 est.)

Oil - production World Ranking: 72
28,230 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - consumption World Ranking: 30
564,500 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - exports World Ranking: 77
50,400 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - imports World Ranking: 22
531,300 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - proved reserves World Ranking: 71
96.38 million bbl (1 January 2010 est.)

Natural gas - production World Ranking: 49
6.084 billion cu m (2010 est.)

Natural gas - consumption World Ranking: 38
17.2 billion cu m (2010 est.)

Natural gas - exports World Ranking: 47
47 million cu m (2010 est.)

Natural gas - imports World Ranking: 24
10.89 billion cu m (2010 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves World Ranking: 50
164.8 billion cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

Current account balance World Ranking: 180
-$22.13 billion (2011 est.)
-$21.87 billion (2010 est.)

Exports World Ranking: 28
$193.9 billion (2011 est.)
$165.7 billion (2010 est.)

Exports - commodities
Machinery and transport equipment 37.8%, intermediate manufactured goods 23.7%, miscellaneous manufactured goods 17.1%, food and live animals 7.6%

Exports - partners
Germany 27%, UK 6.6%, Czech Republic 6.4%, France 6.3%, Italy 5.6%, Netherlands 4.5%, Russia 4.2% (2011)

Imports World Ranking: 24
$208 billion (2011 est.)
$177.5 billion (2010 est.)

Imports - commodities
Machinery and transport equipment 38%, intermediate manufactured goods 21%, chemicals 15%, minerals, fuels, lubricants, and related materials 9%

Imports - partners
Germany 28.7%, Russia 10.3%, Netherlands 5.9%, Italy 5.4%, China 5.3%, France 4.4%, Czech Republic 4.3% (2011)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold World Ranking: 24
$97.87 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$93.51 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Debt - external World Ranking: 28
$320 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$295.6 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home World Ranking: 23
$205.1 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$193.1 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad World Ranking: 35
$43.34 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$36.84 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Exchange rates
Zlotych (PLN) per US dollar -
2.9628 (2011 est.)
3.0153 (2010 est.)
3.1214 (2009)
2.3 (2008)
2.81 (2007)

Fiscal year
Calendar year


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  Poland (Warsaw):


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