Since emerging in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year, the coronavirus disease has spread to 185 countries and territories. To stem further spread of the virus, the national authorities around the world implemented measures to lock down countries and cities to varying degrees. That includes closing borders, shutting schools and workplaces, and limiting large gatherings. Those restrictions, which the International Monetary Fund called the “Great Lockdown,” brought much of global economic activity to a halt, hurting businesses and causing people to lose their jobs. Here is the analysis how the various sectors of the economy of Poland was affected so far.
The Business Tendency in Poland
Lockdown-type control measures started on 10th-12th March, closing schools and university classes and cancelling mass events (above 1000 people). The lockdown measures were strengthened on 25th March, limiting non-family gatherings to two people and religious gatherings to six and forbidding non-essential travel. The lockdown restrictions were tightened starting on 31st March–1st April by a government regulation, requiring individuals walking in streets to be separated by two metres, closing parks, boulevards, beaches, hairdressers and beauty salons, and forbidding unaccompanied minors from exiting their homes. A follow-up regulation on 10th April loosened the restrictions on public gatherings starting from 20 April, allowing religious gatherings and funerals to be held for up to a maximum of 50 people. The pandemic and the isolation measures in response to it had a serious influence on the Polish economy, especially commerce, tourism and the hospitality industries.
Every month, the Polish Statistical Office (pol.: Główny Urząd Statystyczny, GUS) is examining the state of the economy in various sectors by conducting the survey among thousands of companies around the country. This research is the broadest study and thus most reliable. So called “Business tendency in manufacturing, construction, trade and services” gives the diagnose of current and future condition of the business climate made based on various questions related to general economic situation, order-books (domestic and foreign) change, production change, financial situation change, employment, prices and many others. The following slideshow presents the result of the periodical research prepared by the Polish Statistical Office (PSO) in the middle of April 2020.
In April business tendency is assessed as the worst since the beginning of surveys in presented kinds of activities. The most significant decrease is reported by entities operating in the field of accommodation and food service activities. The least significant deterioration is indicated by companies from two sections – financial and insurance activities as well as information and communication. There are reported large declines of “diagnostic” components, but even larger for “prognostic” ones. It means that percentage of entrepreneurs expecting worsening of the economic situation of their entities in the next three months significantly outweighs the percentage of entrepreneurs expecting its improvement or stabilization. In accommodation and food service activities section both components have dropped significantly.