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Lithuania vs. Poland

Economy

LithuaniaPoland
Economy - overviewAfter the country declared independence from the Soviet Union in 1990, Lithuania faced an initial dislocation that is typical during transitions from a planned economy to a free-market economy. Macroeconomic stabilization policies, including privatization of most state-owned enterprises, and a strong commitment to a currency board arrangement led to an open and rapidly growing economy and rising consumer demand. Foreign investment and EU funding aided in the transition. Lithuania joined the WTO in May 2001, the EU in May 2004, and the euro zone in January 2015, and is now working to complete the OECD accession roadmap it received in July 2015. In 2017, joined the OECD Working Group on Bribery, an important step in the OECD accession process.

The Lithuanian economy was severely hit by the 2008-09 global financial crisis, but it has rebounded and become one of the fastest growing in the EU. Increases in exports, investment, and wage growth that supported consumption helped the economy grow by 3.6% in 2017. In 2015, Russia was Lithuania’s largest trading partner, followed by Poland, Germany, and Latvia; goods and services trade between the US and Lithuania totaled $2.2 billion. Lithuania opened a self-financed liquefied natural gas terminal in January 2015, providing the first non-Russian supply of natural gas to the Baltic States and reducing Lithuania’s dependence on Russian gas from 100% to approximately 30% in 2016.

Lithuania’s ongoing recovery hinges on improving the business environment, especially by liberalizing labor laws, and improving competitiveness and export growth, the latter hampered by economic slowdowns in the EU and Russia. In addition, a steady outflow of young and highly educated people is causing a shortage of skilled labor, which, combined with a rapidly aging population, could stress public finances and constrain long-term growth.
Poland has the sixth-largest economy in the EU and has long had a reputation as a business-friendly country with largely sound macroeconomic policies. Since 1990, Poland has pursued a policy of economic liberalization. During the 2008-09 economic slowdown Poland was the only EU country to avoid a recession, in part because of the government’s loose fiscal policy combined with a commitment to rein in spending in the medium-term. However, since 2015 Warsaw’s prioritization of spending on social welfare programs has prompted investors to decrease Poland’s economic growth projections for the next few years.

The Polish economy performed well during the 2014-17 period, with the real GDP growth rate generally exceeding 3%, in part because of the government’s fiscal prudence. However, the government reduced the retirement age as of October 2017 and has tried to introduce new taxes and boost tax compliance to offset the increased costs of social spending programs and relieve upward pressure on the budget deficit. Some credit ratings agencies estimate that Poland will exceed the EU’s 3%-of-GDP limit on budget deficits, possibly impacting its access to future EU funds.

Poland faces several systemic challenges, which include addressing some of the remaining deficiencies in its road and rail infrastructure, business environment, rigid labor code, commercial court system, government red tape, and burdensome tax system, especially for entrepreneurs. Additional long-term challenges include diversifying Poland’s energy mix, strengthening investments in innovation, research, and development, as well as stemming the outflow of educated young Poles to other EU member states, especially in light of a coming demographic contraction due to emigration, persistently low fertility rates, and the aging of the Solidarity-era baby boom generation.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$90.63 billion (2017 est.)
$87.55 billion (2016 est.)
$85.58 billion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
$1.111 trillion (2017 est.)
$1.07 trillion (2016 est.)
$1.042 trillion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP - real growth rate3.5% (2017 est.)
2.3% (2016 est.)
1.8% (2015 est.)
3.8% (2017 est.)
2.6% (2016 est.)
3.9% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$31,900 (2017 est.)
$30,500 (2016 est.)
$29,500 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
$29,300 (2017 est.)
$28,200 (2016 est.)
$27,400 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 3.3%
industry: 28.5%
services: 68.3% (2017 est.)
agriculture: 2.4%
industry: 40.2%
services: 64.3% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line22.2% (2015 est.)
17.6% (2015 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 2.2%
highest 10%: 28.8% (2015)
lowest 10%: 3%
highest 10%: 23.9% (2015 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)3.5% (2017 est.)
0.7% (2016 est.)
1.9% (2017 est.)
-0.6% (2016 est.)
Labor force1.467 million (2017 est.)
17.6 million (2017 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 9.1%
industry: 25.2%
services: 65.8% (2015 est.)
agriculture: 11.5%
industry: 30.4%
services: 57.6% (2015)
Unemployment rate7% (2017 est.)
7.9% (2016 est.)
4.8% (2017 est.)
6.2% (2016 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index37.9 (2015)
35 (2014)
30.8 (2015)
33.7 (2008)
Budgetrevenues: $16.18 billion
expenditures: $16.63 billion (2017 est.)
revenues: $90.8 billion
expenditures: $102.2 billion (2017 est.)
Industriesmetal-cutting machine tools, electric motors, televisions, refrigerators and freezers, petroleum refining, shipbuilding (small ships), furniture, textiles, food processing, fertilizer, agricultural machinery, optical equipment, lasers, electronic components, computers, amber jewelry, information technology, video game development, app/software development, biotechnology
machine building, iron and steel, coal mining, chemicals, shipbuilding, food processing, glass, beverages, textiles
Industrial production growth rate2.8% (2017 est.)
4.2% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - productsgrain, potatoes, sugar beets, flax, vegetables; beef, milk, eggs, pork, cheese; fish
potatoes, fruits, vegetables, wheat; poultry, eggs, pork, dairy
Exports$26.38 billion (2017 est.)
$24.23 billion (2016 est.)
$221.4 billion (2017 est.)
$195.7 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commoditiesrefined fuel, machinery and equipment, chemicals, textiles, foodstuffs, plastics
machinery and transport equipment 37.8%, intermediate manufactured goods 23.7%, miscellaneous manufactured goods 17.1%, food and live animals 7.6% (2012 est.)
Exports - partnersRussia 13.5%, Latvia 9.9%, Poland 9.1%, Germany 7.7%, Estonia 5.3%, US 5.2%, Sweden 4.8%, UK 4.3% (2016)
Germany 27.3%, UK 6.6%, Czech Republic 6.6%, France 5.4%, Italy 4.8%, Netherlands 4.5% (2016)
Imports$30.39 billion (2017 est.)
$26.35 billion (2016 est.)
$221.8 billion (2017 est.)
$193.6 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commoditiesoil, natural gas, machinery and equipment, transport equipment, chemicals, textiles and clothing, metals
machinery and transport equipment 38%, intermediate manufactured goods 21%, chemicals 15%, minerals, fuels, lubricants, and related materials 9% (2011 est.)
Imports - partnersRussia 14.4%, Germany 12.1%, Poland 10.8%, Latvia 8%, Italy 5.4%, Netherlands 4.8%, Sweden 4.4% (2016)
Germany 28.3%, China 7.9%, Netherlands 6%, Russia 5.8%, Italy 5.3%, France 4.2%, Czech Republic 4.1% (2016)
Debt - external$34.48 billion (31 March 2016 est.)
$31.6 billion (31 March 2015 est.)
$362 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$347.8 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Exchange rateslitai (LTL) per US dollar -
0.884 (2017 est.)
0.9037 (2016 est.)
0.9037 (2015 est.)
0.9012 (2014 est.)
0.7525 (2013 est.)
zlotych (PLN) per US dollar -
3.748 (2017 est.)
3.9459 (2016 est.)
3.9459 (2015 est.)
3.7721 (2014 est.)
3.1538 (2013 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
calendar year
Public debt38.9% of GDP (2017 est.)
40.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
note: official data; 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, debt issued by 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 sold at public auctions
46.2% of GDP (2017 est.)
48.4% of GDP (2016 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
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$2.602 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.697 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$115 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$114.4 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Current Account Balance-$747 million (2017 est.)
-$379 million (2016 est.)
-$4.958 billion (2017 est.)
-$959 million (2016 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$46.67 billion (2016 est.)
$510 billion (2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$16.57 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$15.87 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$235.7 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$224.5 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$4.82 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$4.48 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$68.22 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$64.52 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$6.76 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$6.799 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$7.127 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$261.5 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$277.4 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$351.7 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Central bank discount rate0% (31 December 2016 est.)
0.05% (31 December 2015 est.)
1.5% (31 December 2016)
2% (31 December 2015)
Commercial bank prime lending rate2.9% (31 December 2017 est.)
2.83% (31 December 2016 est.)
4.8% (31 December 2017 est.)
4.74% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$34.78 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$28.55 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$413.8 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$336.7 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money$24.73 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$20.93 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$255.1 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$195.1 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of broad money$28.27 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$24.87 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$374.2 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$300.6 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues34.7% of GDP (2017 est.)
17.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-1% of GDP (2017 est.)
-2.2% of GDP (2017 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 16.3%
male: 16%
female: 16.6% (2015 est.)
total: 20.8%
male: 20.7%
female: 20.9% (2015 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 66.3%
government consumption: 17.7%
investment in fixed capital: 18.8%
investment in inventories: -0.5%
exports of goods and services: 75.9%
imports of goods and services: -78.2% (2017 est.)
household consumption: 58.8%
government consumption: 18.1%
investment in fixed capital: 17.8%
investment in inventories: 0.8%
exports of goods and services: 56.2%
imports of goods and services: -51.8% (2017 est.)
Gross national saving16% of GDP (2017 est.)
15.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
17.6% of GDP (2015 est.)
19% of GDP (2017 est.)
19.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
19.9% of GDP (2015 est.)

Source: CIA Factbook