Polish government and most economist heavily overshot Polish economic forecast with the economic growth in Q3 falling to a two year low of 2.5%. In Polish politics and press it has been attributed to the last year government change and even if possibly it may have impact on the current situation, it also seems to be a regional phenomenon as well as bad forecasting.
Other regional countries including Slovakia, Hungary and Czech republic experience a similar economic trend and the last year GDP growth was higher than the growth expected this year with Q3 weakening as compared to Q2. This situation is more than odd under conditions of rising wages and falling unemployment which in case of Poland and Hungary is the lowest since the beginning of economic transformation and in Czech Republic and Slovakia is also falling. The most obvious reason attributed to this situation is EU fiscal cycle, at the end of 2015 was the deadline for using the funds that were allocated for the period what led to a spending push and growth fluctuation in 2015. At the same time, the last 2 years saw sharply falling unemployment and raising wages among relative stable growth in the Euro Zone but this year numbers seem to be worse than the year before.
Last year Polish voters ousted the Civic Platform government that led Poland through 8 years of uninterrupted GDP growth that was higher than any of country’s neighbors. The country’s prime minister gave up his job at the head of Polish government to become the President of the European Council. There were strong numbers backing up the reelection of the government and even if the then opposition party campaigned using populist slogans, it doesn’t explain the turn. The sitting Polish Minister of Economy was many times quoted saying that “one cannot focus on GDP too much”. It seems that the GDP growth statistics isn’t a very good indicator of how countries in transition are actually doing.