Development of the global economy

In our forecasts, we assume that global economic growth will weaken slightly in 2018. We believe risks will arise from protectionist tendencies, turbulence in the financial markets and structural deficits in individual countries. In addition, growth prospects will continue to be hurt by geopolitical tensions and conflicts. We therefore expect somewhat weaker momentum than in 2017 in both the advanced economies and the emerging markets. We expect the strongest rates of expansion in Asia’s emerging economies.

Furthermore, we anticipate that the global economy will also continue to grow in the period from 2019 to 2022.

Europe/Other Markets

In Western Europe, economic growth is expected to slow down in 2018 compared with the reporting period. Resolving structural problems poses a major challenge, as do the uncertain results and impacts of the Brexit negotiations between the EU and the United Kingdom.

For Central Europe, we estimate that growth rates in 2018 will be lower than those of the past fiscal year. In Eastern Europe, the economic situation should stabilize further, providing that the smoldering conflict between Russia and Ukraine does not worsen. Following the increase in the past fiscal year, Russia’s economic output is likely to grow further.

Political uncertainty and social tensions resulting primarily from high unemployment levels will probably weigh on the South African economy in 2018 and are expected to keep growth down.


In Germany, gross domestic product (GDP) is likely to increase less strongly in 2018 than in the reporting period. However, the situation in the labor market is expected to remain stable and bolster consumer spending.

North America

We expect the economic situation in the USA to further improve in 2018. The US Federal Reserve is likely to implement additional interest rate hikes throughout the course of the year. At the same time, fiscal policy measures are intended to provide support. Growth in Canada is likely to weaken, while remaining nearly unchanged in Mexico.

South America

The economy in Brazil is very likely to stabilize further in 2018 and record somewhat higher growth than in the reporting period. Despite sustained high inflation, Argentina should achieve a similar increase in GDP to that recorded in the reporting period.


In 2018, the Chinese economy is expected to continue growing at a relatively high level, but year-on-year this growth will lose momentum. For India, we anticipate an expansion rate at around the 2017 level. The economic situation in Japan is likely to deteriorate compared with the reporting period.