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Poland slowly skidding into Economic cliff

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  • Poland slowly skidding into Economic cliff

    Been following it for a while to be quiet honest.

    Smartest things so far was staying in their own currency.
    Attempt at cutting budget deficit by cutting the budget instead of taxes.
    Privatization of some companies that lowers budget deficit while getting them out of government support positions.
    Also if they build the two nuclear power plants it might make things more stable on infrastructure side.

    The construction sector and thus the banking sector have been bubbliciously imploding. Thus far the construction sector is on the full verge collapse (financially) with
    Hydrobudowa files for bankruptcy - Warsaw Business Journal - Online Portal -
    Quiet a few filing and quiet a few on the verge like polimex-mostostal.

    Government debt has still been growing and the overall pressure on housholds (young households) whom took out foreign currency loans at peak to buy properties is quiet large. About half of all mortgages in Poland are Swiss franc denominates probably around $50 billion (dollars) and the franc going up has been very tough on people I assume.

    Construction firms' losses could ripple through economy - Warsaw Business Journal - Online Portal -
    Polish public debt creeping upwards - Warsaw Business Journal - Online Portal -
    Under-water franc loans threaten Polish growth miracle - RT News
    Poland's economy is finally starting to flounder after defying a Europe-wide downturn for four years.

    It faces a growing threat from foreign currency loans that have left thousands of households owing more than their homes are worth.

    About half of all mortgages held by Poles are denominated in Swiss francs, and a combination of currency swings and falling house prices means 47% of these loans are now worth more than the properties they were used to buy.
    Loans in foreign currencies - there are also some in euros and even Japanese yen - now have a value of 200 billion zlotys ($58.41 billion). That is equivalent to 13% of Polish GDP and 60% of the total value of outstanding Polish mortgages. The Swiss franc figure is 49% of the total.

    A 15% fall in house prices since 2007 - and lessons learned from credit-sponsored property booms in the West - also add to the argument for consumers to scale back purchases now.

    The key is how Polish households respond.

    Savings rates shrank to 3.9% of disposable income last year from 6.4% a year earlier as Poles dipped into their backstops to cover spending, reducing their cushion against financial calamity but also reflecting pressure on day-to-day finances that should weaken consumer demand.

    Others are defaulting. The proportion of "bad" mortgages - where the borrower fails to make repayments - rose in May to 2.6% from 2% a year earlier.

    Mostly though, home-owners are shouldering the burden, denying themselves more to cover the rise in the monthly cost of their homes, although domestic demand overall is still growing.

    "This is a dramatic situation when, once all the loan instalments are paid off, you can't afford to buy your child an ice-cream," said Iwona Jakubowska-Branicka, a sociologist from University of Warsaw.

    Another pillar of growth - the public investment in last month's Euro 2012 soccer tournament - has also disappeared and all but a couple of the country's main export markets in Europe are sinking into recession.

    The result is an expected slowdown in overall growth to 2.9% this year and 2.1% next year, from 4.3% in 2011.
    Also exports are falling and transit services are falling. The later I know from following transit ergo trucking and other services that Poles were providing in Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus is more competitive with those now edging Poles out competition wise in good shipments.

    While imports and exports haven't followed much.
    Warsaw Business Journal - Online Portal -
    If you go back in time to the begining of 2012 the exports growth has consistently fell. Ergo past exports were still growing well but once we hit mid year the growth was no longer positive.
    Exports falling
    1st August 2012

    In June, Polish exports fell by 2 percent compared to May and by 9.6 percent compared to data from a year ago. In total, it amounted to zł.50.8 billion, according to data from the Export Credit Insurance Corporation (KUKE).

    According to experts, the drop was unexpected, because seasonal tendencies should point to increasing turnovers related to delivery of merchandise for vacation.

    According to KUKE's forecasts, exports for the period between June and August 2012 will be higher than a year ago by 6.7 percent. Exports could reach a total of zł.612 billion in 2012.
    I don't think the forecasts will pan out very divergent expectations from reality.

    What most people ignore is that Poland is very dependent energy wise on both gas and coal. Most of electricity comes from coal and gas, same thing with heat. Ukraine for comparison is mostly nuclear and hydro for electricity and gas for heat etc... (Granted Ukraine is still more expensive electricity wise because of tariff stratification to screw the public but that's another story).

    To reiterate about 25% or quarter of all mortgages in Poland are now under-water (house worth less than amount) and variable payments are going to be painful in the future I expect.

    My feeling is once we revisit the global slowdown underway the currency will get to experience 4 level to the dollar sooner or later towards the new year or so. Consumption demand is compensating for fluctuations in essence pushes the gdp further down causing further currency depreciation and further demand contraction. Not a pretty spiral that is only getting going.

    P.S. this is my idiotic opinion don't wear it out.
    Originally from Sochi, Russia.