March 26, 2020 / 1:11 PM / 11 days ago

Over two-thirds of Polish firms plan coronavirus-related job cuts: survey

WARSAW (Reuters) - Job cuts might be necessary in 69% of Poland’s businesses because of coronavirus, a survey showed on Thursday, illustrating the extent of the challenges facing central Europe’s largest economy as a result of the outbreak.

In Poland, which plans to hold presidential elections on May 10, authorities have announced measures worth over 200 billion zlotys ($47.9 billion) to support the economy, while the central bank has cut rates for the first time in five years.

“The survey shows that the situation of companies is very difficult,” said Jacek Mecina, adviser to the board of the Lewiatan Confederation, which compiled the survey.

“Choices on which business decisions will be made will depend on the speed of launching instruments to help enterprises.”

The survey, which was carried out among 800 companies between March 23 and 25, showed that 68% of companies say they could go out of business without state aid.

In addition, 47% of those who responded said they could wait a maximum of three weeks for state aid before they start letting people go.

In February, Poland’s unemployment was stable at 5.5%. [nS8N2AQ034]

Reporting by Alan Charlish; Editing by Joanna Plucinska and Jan Harvey

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