The annual EIB Survey on Investment and Investment Finance (EIBIS) finds that after 25 years of weak investment performance, Polish corporates are now increasing their capital stock.
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In Poland, the macroeconomic outlook remains stable and promising. Robust economic growth is likely to continue in 2018, thanks to strong private consumption and a recovery in investment after a lull induced by the cyclicality of EU funds.
Nevertheless, important structural issues have to be overcome to secure the country’s long-term convergence towards the EU and the sustainability of its growth model.
The main findings of the Annual EIB Survey on Investment and Investment Finance (EIBIS) were discussed at a conference in Warsaw organised jointly by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the National Bank of Poland (NBP).
The latest edition of the traditional EIB corporate survey was complemented by a one-off municipal survey, providing additional, valuable information about local authorities’ investment needs and capital accumulation barriers at the local level.
At the corporate level, more Polish firms increased than decreased investment activity in the last financial year.
This positive outlook continues into the current year, with all sectors expecting, on balance, to expand investment activity.
However, around one-quarter of Polish firms (24%) feel they invested too little over the last three years, which is higher than the EU average (15%).
While replacement is named as the main priority of firms’ investment, companies are shifting towards building new capacities and developing new products. The top two perceived barriers to investment are skills shortages (89%) and general uncertainty about the future (87%).
Both are more commonly cited in Poland than the EU average.
At the local authority level, over the last five years, slightly less than 60% of municipalities in Poland report an increase in investment activities in their jurisdictions and only 9% report a decrease.
Yet, 38% of Polish municipalities believe investment activities in their jurisdiction have been below needs.
The main obstacles to infrastructure investment activities for Polish municipalities is the length of the approval process. Access to external finance follows, weighing more than at the EU level.
Municipalities mainly resort to their own resources and EU programmes to finance infrastructure. ■