Underlying Economic Conditions

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the global economy will experience slightly higher growth in 2013 than in the previous year. The IMF forecasts that world GDP will rise by 3.5 percent (2012: 3.3 percent). For 2014, the IMF predicts 4.1 percent. Upward momentum in 2013 will mainly come from emerging markets, with 5.6 percent growth. Advanced economies will deliver GDP growth of only 1.5 percent.

Moderate Expansion for US Economy

High unemployment remains the major problem facing the US economy. The US real-estate market, though, is expected to continue its recovery in 2013, bolstering the economy. The Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) expects growth of 2.0 percent there. For 2014, the OECD estimate is 2.8 percent.

GDP Trends in 2013

GDP Trends in 2013 (bar chart)

Sources – worldwide: IMF; Asia: ADB; China: ADB, India: ADB; Japan: OECD; USA: OECD; Europe: IMF; Germany: IMF (Dec. 2012)

Asia Remains Growth Driver of Global Economy

In China, monetary easing – and the infrastructure projects already planned – will generate more growth in 2013 than in the previous year. The Asian Development Bank expects the Chinese economy to expand by 8.1 percent. Growth in India has been dampened by insufficient investment, climbing unemployment, strong inflation and high sovereign debt. Despite these problems, the ADB anticipates a 6.7 percent year-on-year rise in GDP for 2013. In Japan, the economy will only see moderate growth in 2013. A strong recovery after the earthquake meant that the Japanese economy expanded by 1.6 percent in 2012. This performance will not be repeated during the current year. The OECD forecasts growth of just 0.7 percent year on year, and 0.8 percent for 2014. To spur the economy, the new Japanese government agreed on a stimulation package of €175 billion in January. Overall, Asia will deliver much higher growth rates than all other regions over the next two years. According to the ADB, Asian economies will expand 6.7 percent compared with 2012.

Growth in Europe Held Back by Sovereign-Debt Crisis

The IMF expects Europe to pull out of recession in 2013 and achieve marginal growth. After last year’s economic contraction, the IMF estimates that 2013’s GDP will improve slightly by 0.2 percent. Successful budgetary consolidation in individual countries could then lead to stronger GDP growth in 2014. The OECD takes the view that an increase of 1.3 percent is possible. In Germany, business experts anticipate a similar growth rate to last year. The IMF’s estimates are for a rise of 0.9 percent. Consumer spending and the construction industry are stabilizing demand. The OECD predicts that GDP will increase by 1.9 percent in 2014.