Poland strikes ‘hammer blow to aging stereotypes’ as it overtakes Portugal in terms of wealth

Poland is now richer than Portugal as the Central European country continues its rise up the economic league table, overtaking established Western European economies in the process. Kalbar/TFN

Poland is now richer than Portugal as the Central European country continues its rise up the economic league table, overtaking established Western European economies in the process.

According to figures released by the IMF, in 2019 domestic purchasing power parity in Poland increased by 7.70 percent on its 2018 rate to $33,891, putting it ahead of Portugal, which racked up $33,665.

While the difference is slight in monetary terms it comes laden with symbolic meaning as it takes a hammer blow to the aging stereotypes in Western Europe that cast Poland as a poor and economically underdeveloped country.

According to figures released by the IMF, in 2019 domestic purchasing power parity in Poland increased by 7.70 percent on its 2018 rate to $33,891, putting it ahead of Portugal, which racked up $33,665.Kalbar/TFN

It also comes as testament to how far Poland has travelled along the economic road in the last 30 years, given that it started the 1990s with a crumbling and decrepit economy that was light-years behind those of the West.

In 1990 purchasing power parity, for example came to just $6,583, and 10 years before that it was $4,758.

Poland also passed Greece in the same IMF economic stakes in 2016, and economists predict that the new gap between it and Portugal is expected to widen.

The IMF predicts that in 2020 the Portuguese economy will grow by 1.6 percent while Poland’s should expand by about 3.1 percent.

The IMF predicts that in 2020 the Portuguese economy will grow by 1.6 percent while Poland’s should expand by about 3.1 percent.Theodor Vasile on Unsplash

Poland’s growth also appears part of a wider trend of Central European states catching up on those to their west in Europe.

Hungary and the Czech Republic have also surpassed Portugal, and the Czechs along with their regional peers now have Italy in their sites.

The Italian economy, which has struggled to shed off years of stagnation, has a domestic purchasing power parity of $40,400.