Despite the fact that the condition of the Polish economy remains largely tied to the situation in the European Union and in global markets, Poland continues to significantly outperform the eurozone in terms of GDP growth. A favourable situation on the labour market and household consumption above expectations constituted the key drivers for the Polish economy. According to research by the Polish Economic Institute, the good economic situation was acknowledged by businesses, 47% of which declared an increase in demand for their products or services and nearly 18% recorded a considerable improvement in access to external financing. GDP growth in the eurozone declined to 1.8%. The slowdown is mainly caused by global factors and the situation in Europe, e.g. trade wars and Brexit.
However, the favourable economic environment did not significantly improve the liquidity of businesses in Poland. In 2018, the number of bankruptcies and restructurings increased by 10.2% from 2017. A low positively influenced demand, however the lingering wage growth pressure and difficulties in filling vacancies caused certain limitations for businesses in using their capacities. Shortages of staff constituted a greater obstacle for businesses than fears concerning demand, which is a key factor in doing business.
Fuel prices on global markets in 2018 were approx. 60% higher in 2018 than in 2016. The scale of growth in crude oil, coal and gas prices in Europe was similar, whereas the price growth in non-energy raw materials was much weaker, at 8% in 2017-2018.
For Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa, of key significance are those areas of the economic environment that can substantially impact the shape of the Group’s further development, i.e. the coal, coke and steel markets.