After global economic growth in financial year 2017/18 remained at a similarly stable level as in the previous year, it is likely to be lower in the coming financial year. This development applies to all regions except Latin America. While in the United States of America (USA) the economy grew due to very low unemployment and economic policy reforms, rising inflation and interest rate hikes may dampen the upswing. Another negative impact may be the USA’s protectionist trade policy or trade conflicts. The most important trade conflict currently exists between the USA and China. This is one of the main reasons why weaker growth momentum is expected for China. For Eastern and Western Europe, economic growth is forecast to decline, with inflation remaining stable in the West but rising in the East. In addition to trade disputes with the USA, the United Kingdom’s imminent exit from the EU is a major negative factor that will have a negative impact, especially for EU countries. For Russia, similar economic growth as in the previous year is expected along with an increase in inflation. All in all, we expect inflation-adjusted global economic growth of around 3.4% for 2019.
After the solid trend of the German economy in financial year 2017/18, lower growth of +1.6% is expected, which is still carried by domestic demand. The continued positive development on the German labour market as well as the effects of wage increases with constant inflation point to solid growth in private consumption. According to forecasts, Germany’s export industries will develop less strongly in the coming year than in previous years.
While the economy in Western Europe recovered in the past financial year 2017/18, we expect slightly weaker growth in 2019. The slowdown in growth momentum will affect all countries in the region, even though, at 1.7%, growth is likely to turn out only slightly below the previous year’s level. In Italy in particular, there are economic policy risks that could further affect growth. The most recent monetary policy decisions by the ECB appear to indicate a very slow return to higher interest rates, which continue to drive growth in the European economies at their relatively low current levels.
For Russia, economic growth is expected to be approximately 1.3% lower than in financial year 2017/18. This is also linked to a small increase in private consumption, which will be particularly affected by the increase in value added tax (VAT) at the beginning of 2019. Additionally, inflation is expected to rise to about 5.1% along with a persistently weak currency. Economic sanctions continue to be a burden on the economy.
After solid growth in financial year 2017/18, we expect economic growth in Eastern Europe to remain below the previous year’s level. This trend can be seen in almost all countries in this region. The biggest exception is Turkey, which could experience the beginning of an economic recession with a negative growth rate of −1.6%. In Turkey, the inflation rate continues to rise above 20%. Unemployment is also likely to rise as a consequence of the recession.
We anticipate that the Asian economy will continue to grow solidly, albeit at a lower level than in the previous financial year 2017/18. The labour market and private consumption continue to develop positively, even as the inflation rate continues to rise. For China, economic growth is forecast to turn out considerably below the level of the previous year. There is still a risk that the trade conflict with the USA will continue to worsen. Since the USA is China’s largest trading partner, this development would severely impact China as an export nation and affect economic growth. The Indian economy continues to grow strongly according to forecasts.
1 Source: Oxford Economics