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BANKING

Case 3: Poland

Does east follow west to the euro?

Case 1: Czech Republic

Case 2: Hungary

Case 4: Slovakia

Poland boasts the lowest inflation of the EU25, with headline national CPI at just 0.8% year on year, and core inflation below 0.5%. Its current account deficit is close to an all-time low of 1.5% of GDP.

According to research from Merrill Lynch: “The fiscal position is also positive for the outlook, due to both strong revenues and contained spending, with the headline fiscal deficit at around 3% of GDP.”

Poland’s budget deficit is hovering around the 5% level. Although this is fairly large, it has been repeatedly revised downwards by Eurostat from original levels of 6.5% in 2004.

Merrill Lynch research predicts that strong growth and a pick-up in inflation both suggest a decline in the fiscal deficit to around 2.5% of GDP in 2007 – in line for current estimates that Poland will look to adopt the euro in 2011.

According to government forecasts, using Polish methodology, the state budget deficit will amount to Zl32.6 billion ($10.8

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