Economic Effects of COVID-19 Pandemic in Poland Compared to other EU Countries
Purpose: The article aims to show what impact the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 had on the Polish economy compared to the situation in the EU member states. The idea is to show the main economic effects under the conditions of active support of the economy by the government’s anti-crisis program mitigating the adverse effects caused by the pandemic (the so-called Anti-Crisis Shield). Design/Methodology/Approach: The governmental program and business cycle statistics were analyzed, and labor market indicators – the unemployment rate and changes in the number of employed by the industry. The situation in the EU was discussed using fundamental macroeconomic indicators such as GDP growth rate and debt and public finance sector output. Each of these indicators recorded the effects of closing the economy. Findings: The “Accommodation and catering” and “Trade” and “repair of motor vehicles” Polish Classification of Business Activity (NACE) sections were most affected by the crisis. Some industries have seen positive activity despite the lockdown, such as information and communications. The “Anti-Crisis Shield” governmental program allowed to protect jobs and maintain minimum financial liquidity in companies that met the primary conditions for obtaining financial support. The program could not save the whole economy from the effects of the pandemic, but the adverse economic impact measured by the decrease in GDP was more minor in Poland than in other EU countries. Practical Implications: Observations derived from the pandemic behavior of specific industries can be used to model governmental protective and supportive actions for the future. Originality/Value: The effects of the pandemic have been drastic for some industries but beneficial for others. The indicators of the situation in Poland in macroeconomic terms place it in the group of countries that effectively counteract the effects of the pandemic, which bodes well for the period of economic recovery after the pandemic.