for several reasons will the whole of Lithuania go there after the New Year?
The most important of these are disagreements with the European Commission. This affects not only bilateral relations, but also late payments to Poland from the European Economic Recovery Fund.
This money is expected to be an important part of future investment, mainly in public infrastructure, as well as in the green economy.
“It is difficult to estimate when a compromise will be reached and the zloty will be pressed until then,” Sielewicz predicted.
Convenient for the central bank
Another reason for the depreciation of the zloty is the difficult situation on the border with Belarus and the migrants here.
“The Polish currency is suffering from the possibility that relations could continue to deteriorate, even if the armed conflict is not included in the scenario.
Lithuania, which is experiencing tensions at the border, is benefiting from membership in the eurozone, which is why no one is putting pressure on its currency, ”he also commented.
Moreover, in his view, the increased rates of the Polish central bank will not be enough to curb inflation. In addition, the current level of the Polish currency seems convenient for the central bank: a weak currency lags behind exports and thus the economy.
“A weaker currency is positive for export competitiveness. Due to the increased profitability of Polish exporters.
But at the same time, it leads to higher import costs, which are felt not only by companies but also by the final consumer. In addition, a weaker currency is looking at a further rise in inflation, ”said a Coface economist.
In his view, the Polish central bank will intervene in the foreign exchange market to slightly strengthen or stabilize the zloty. This could happen later this year or early next year.
Afraid of lower taxes
Business in Southern Lithuania suffers the most from trips to the Polish supermarket. As they said
Dalia Matukienė, the head of the Alytus Region Entrepreneurs’ Association, currently has no significant impact when travel is hampered by a pandemic.
“However, what worries me more than the exchange rate of the zloty is that Poland is preparing to reduce value added tax (VAT). Then everything would pile up – a weak zloty, lower VAT, differences in excise duties on fuel.
These are particularly important factors when going shopping in Poland. Next year will be the year of Poland’s recovery. If there are no quarantine restrictions, the whole of Lithuania will go there, “said D. Matukienė.
The Polish government has already announced that from next year to fight inflation in the country we will have 10 billion. zlotys (EUR 2.16 million). Mostly in the form of lower taxes.
From 20 December, excise duty on fuel will be reduced to the minimum required by the EU for five months. This tax will not apply to electricity or gas.
In addition, since January, Warsaw has planned to cut the VAT rate for three months before the heating season continues: for gas – from 23 to 8 percent, for electricity – from 23 to 5 percent. True, this will apply to households, but they can devote more to consumption and thus support local businesses.
On the other hand, as Tadas Povilauskas, the chief economist of SEB Bank, has noted, the weakening zloty is making Polish exporters more competitive.
“Let’s say both Lithuanians and Poles produce milk. The weaker zloty makes Polish products in stores more competitive in Lithuania. However, whether the prices will decrease for the final buyer depends on the seller, ”the economist considered.
The price difference is moving
Price comparison portal Pricer.lt Founder Arūnas Vizickas makes comments from social networks and groups observed there that the fallen zloty has already pushed Lithuanian consumers more interested in the neighboring market. In addition to food and medicine, there are furniture, finishing materials, in other words, more expensive purchases.
“I had to communicate with companies that bring goods purchased in Poland to Lithuania. Their representatives mentioned that one of the most popular goods is furniture and mattresses.
A person orders a product in a Polish shipment, indicates the address of the importer’s warehouse in Poland, and the product is delivered from the warehouse to Lithuania for a certain price, ”explained A.Vizickas.
Atvyko.lt has been engaged in exactly such activities for two years now, bringing purchases from Poland to Lithuania.
With the portal lrytas.lt Artūras, a spokesman for the company, said that the upheaval has been felt lately as well. People buy household items, medicines, mattresses, toys.
According to Arthur, the buyer is shaken not so much by the depreciation of the zloty as by the rising prices in Lithuania, as they have remained relatively stable in Poland.
At that time, Vizickas also drew attention to one new trend: if people living closer to the border used to go shopping in Poland more often, now there are people who travel from Šiauliai.
“As a result, residents are finding more and more sources to view information and compare prices. In fact, prices in Poland are also rising, only at a slower pace than in Hungary, both because of the exchange rate and because of the competition, ”he said. Pricer.lt founder.
Gasoline 15 percent. cheaper
Sigismund Mauricas, an economist at Luminor Bank, predicted on Facebook that all roads would lead to Poland this winter, as the weakening zloty and relatively lower inflation widened the price gap between Lithuania and Poland to historic highs.
“Currently, Poland has significantly less than just the price of most goods and services, but also fuel prices,” he wrote. The difference is small – 15%, and if the Poles reduce the share, it could become even bigger.
After all, VAT is still payable on excise duty, which will decrease in monetary terms accordingly.
Poland is interesting not only for Lithuanians
ISM and the University of Economics were interviewed after the pandemic opened in early summer. It shows that most often – shopping with neighbors for building materials, chemicals, groceries, clothing.
“A more popular category of footwear and clothing. As the lower-priced segment of the population goes to Poland to shop, the new collections are not important to them. For those who are close to Poland, one of the reasons to go there is a bit of fun, ”commented Lineta Ramonienė, the head of the University’s International Trade and Management Program.
She pointed out that a higher-income shopper looking for clothing or footwear looks for these items online. This habit, greatly intensified during a pandemic, reduces motivation when traveling to Poland – it is possible to simply get goods from the country’s shops.
“We have to distinguish between targeted and recreational trips to Poland. When we go for fun, we buy not very expensive everyday goods. These are mainly food products.
But we will look at targeted shopping, when planning to buy even electronic devices, Lithuanians are considering sending from neighbors: if there is a big discount, let’s add the currently depreciated zloty and we will already receive a solid amount saved, ”L. Ramonienė explained.
In addition, Lithuanians like to buy trips from tour operators operating in Poland: prices are lower here just because of the size of the market, and making a purchase in an devalued currency even more attractive.
L.Ramonienė pointed out that Lithuanians are not the only ones who have found the Polish market interesting. There, both Germans and residents of other surrounding countries look for more expensive products.