Adjustments in the Balance of Payments in EMU Countries: Conclusions for Poland
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Publication date: 2014-02-28
GNPJE 2014;269(1):97-119
The article examines threats to Poland’s financial stability resulting from structural adjustments in the country’s balance of payments. The analysis is conducted in the context of balance‐of‐payment trends in key European Monetary Union countries. The author highlights the causes behind external imbalances in EMU countries and points to the outcomes of reforms designed to restore credibility and growth. He also looks at the risks to maintaining an upward trend in net exports. The article shows the impact of ongoing changes in EMU policy on Poland’s external balance. The author argues that the observed increase in net exports, particularly in peripheral EMU countries as well as in Poland, is chiefly due to growing savings in both the public and private sectors. A reduction in spending in the wake of public finance consolidation, combined with improved balance sheets at financial institutions and falling unit labor costs, helped improve competitiveness in most southern EMU countries, Sawicki says. In Poland, the low share of capital expenditure in total factor productivity (TFP), coupled with a current-account structure different from those in peripheral EMU countries, poses the risk of destabilization in foreign finances in the medium term, according to the author, unless the upward trend in net exports is maintained. The importance of net exports as a factor influencing Poland’s external balance will grow once transfers from the EU budget decrease substantially, Sawicki says. He adds that a sudden stop in financial inflows could endanger the stability of the country’s financial system.
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