Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. AFP
Poland is experiencing its first recession since the end of the communist era more than three decades ago, an estimate by Poland's statistics office showed on Friday.
The economy shrank by 8.9 per cent in the second quarter because of the effects of the coronavirus lockdown, after a contraction of 0.4 per cent in the first quarter.
Recession is defined two consecutive quarters of contraction.
Poland was the only European Union member state to avoid recession during the global financial crisis of 2008 and 2009, and has enjoyed healthy growth rates until now.
Gross domestic product grew by 4.1 percent in 2019, slightly lower than the 5.3 percent rate in 2018.
The economy "should recover" in the next quarters, the Polish Economic Institute, an independent research centre, was quoted by PAP news agency as saying.
The government is forecasting 3.4 percent contraction this year, down from a previous prognosis of 3.7 percent growth.
The European Commission forecast in May that the Polish economy would shrink by 4.3 percent overall in 2020 and bounce back with 4.1 percent expansion in 2021.
Britain's economy shrank by a record 19.8 per cent in the second quarter, entering recession on the coronavirus lockdown.
Payments of the massive coronavirus stimulus approved by leaders of the European Union will start in the second half of next year.
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