This year’s (i.e., third) edition of the Index of the Wealth of Nations, like the previous one, covers all OECD and European Union countries. This time the indications of the WNI correspond to the conditions at the beginning of 2022, i.e. the moment of exit from the COVID-19 epidemic. It is thus interesting to juxtapose them with the first edition of the index, which depicted the situation on the eve of the pandemic; one can thus see how the economies examined in both the first and current study (i.e. the EU countries and the United Kingdom) have coped with the global socio-economic crisis.
The West in the Red, The East in the Black
The pattern among EU countries is a decrease in the indication of WNI in the west of the continent and increases observed in the east. The largest EU economies lost compared to 2020: Germany 2.1 points (2.2%), France 3.4 points (4.2%), and Italy 0.7 point (0.9%). The United Kingdom also recorded a decline (4.4 points, or 5.1%). Thus, it can be seen that the shock of the epidemic and the accompanying policies of the governments has left such a mark on Western European countries that full economic recovery is still to come. The exceptions to the rule in question are Denmark (0.5 points of growth, or 0.5%) and Sweden (2.9 points of growth, or 3.7%), as well as Ireland, but, as every year, we consider this last country’s result to be unreliable due to the peculiarities of Irish national income.
On the other hand, Eastern European countries, at least in the economic aspect, seem to have left the COVID-19 epidemic behind. With few exceptions such as Czechia, our region’s economies recorded higher WNI scores than two editions ago. Poland is leading with 4.2 points (7.0%) above the score of two years ago. Croatia (plus 3.7 points, or 6.4%), Lithuania (3.6 points, or 5.1%), Bulgaria (2.1 points, or 4.5%) or Estonia (2.9 points, or 4.1%) did almost equally well.
The Wealth of Nations Index website is available HERE.