Compared to the previous year, the global economy is expected to gradually recover in the course of the financial year 2021/22 with real growth of 5.1%. However, it will be significantly influenced by the continuous development of the pandemic, but also by a current global supply chain bottleneck and raised raw material prices. It is instrumental for a full recovery that no new virus variants evolve or that the vaccination successes achieved so far do not level off due to an overload of the respective health care systems and thus trigger another sharp recession. It is also assumed that the government measures taken to combat the pandemic and the interventions to support the economy will be (fully) scaled back. However, there are increasing concerns that infection numbers are rising and some countries are already withdrawing initial relaxations, for example, in the Netherlands, Austria, Russia, Ukraine and Germany.
Furthermore, producers and retailers all over the world are facing a combination of supply chain bottlenecks and rising prices for raw materials and energy. This also has a negative impact on consumer prices and real earnings. The magnitude mainly depends on the duration of the current situation. For example, the current bottleneck in the global supply chain, triggered by low inventory levels, raw material shortages and very high utilisation of logistics services, is expected to adversely affect the economic recovery, especially in the manufacturing sector. It will probably continue through H1 2021/22.
Economic growth will also be (almost) entirely driven by the return of consumer spending in sectors that were previously particularly impacted by the pandemic, such as hospitality or tourism. A significant increase in private consumption and a decline in the savings rate are expected. However, before the inflation rate declines again, it is expected to continue to rise until H1 2021/22, possibly significantly in some countries such as Germany. This also affects food prices. It remains to be seen how wages and labour markets develop in return. In addition, some national economies and industry sectors are already experiencing staff shortages, which have also been triggered by a migration of labour between economic sectors. For example, there is a shortage of service staff in the hospitality industry and drivers in the logistics sector.
The economic effects of potential international trade dispute cannot yet be estimated. The economic consequences of Brexit will probably become more apparent in financial year 2021/22 than before, especially if the current renegotiations fail and lead to mutual trade sanctions. In addition, trade policy consequences on global trade could arise from tensions in the Indo-Pacific region and between the USA and China, which may result in economic sanctions on goods or trade routes.
Real economic growth of 4.8% is expected for financial year 2021/22. It is expected to return to the pre-pandemic performance level. The main prerequisite here is that the pandemic situation continues to improve. With the resulting gradual withdrawal of social restrictions, the German economy is expected to be further stimulated, and consumers will use the resulting greater leeway for consumer spending. This is especially true for the hospitality and event industry. Private consumer spending in Germany is therefore expected to turn out significantly more positive, especially in H1 2021/22. At the same time, however, another temporary increase in inflation is also expected, which will be broadly spread out across many product groups, but especially on energy and food spending. It remains to be seen how wages will develop in this environment in the respective sectors and wether any real income losses can be absorbed. However, the labour market is expected to remain at a stable level overall. Another risk factor is the global supply chain bottleneck, which particularly affects Germany as an export-rich country. This bottleneck is expected to extend into H1 2021/22 and thus significantly constrain the manufacturing sector. Therefore, exports in general and the automotive sector in particular will be impacted, even if industrial production as well as imports and exports develop positively overall.
For the coming financial year, a significant economic recovery is expected for Western Europe as a whole (+5.4% real growth), along with an economic output level just above the financial year before the start of the pandemic. Again, the main condition for recovery is the (slow) return to a normal social life. The forecasts further call for an accompanying increase in private consumer spending, especially in the hospitality and event industry. Inflation is also expected to continue to increase in Western Europe, although the magnitude will vary from country to country. The labour market is expected to be stable overall, with the unemployment rate in Spain remaining at a high level. Imports and exports are forecast to develop positively, although industrial production will be negatively affected by the global supply shortage and increased energy costs. The tourist-oriented countries France, Italy, Spain and Austria can expect a very significant increase in tourism. The development of the hospitality industry is closely aligned with the tourism sector. In Western Europe, the hospitality industry is expected to develop positively compared to 2021, but still below the pre-pandemic level of 2019.
For Russia, economic growth is currently projected at 1.8%, even though vaccination coverage lags significantly behind other developed countries and there is a high infection rate. Temporarily introduced mandatory leaves may lead to a decline in consumption, since this time, unvaccinated people in particular are also subject to special restrictions. Private consumer spending is expected to increase with stable inflation and a positive development of imports and exports. The important energy and raw materials sector is forecast to grow strongly. There is high demand for minerals, and oil production is expected to increase following the decision of OPEC+. The labour market will continue to develop positively. Household spending in the food retail sector is expected to decrease slightly in real terms compared to 2021, but will remain well above the pre-pandemic level of 2019. Further growth is expected for the hospitality industry.
The economy in Eastern Europe is expected to grow by 4.1% in real terms, exceeding the pre-pandemic level. Despite low vaccination rates in some parts, the individual countries have scaled back social restrictions to varying degrees, which is causing a boost to the economy. This is especially true for the Turkish economy, whose current upswing will continue in the coming year according to current forecasts. Very positive growth is also expected for the other Eastern European countries in the METRO portfolio. These forecasts are also subject to a slowdown in infections and a stable health care system. Private consumer spending, especially in the hospitality and event industry, is expected to develop positively in most Eastern European countries. A strong increase in consumer spending is especially expected in Turkey. However, driven by food and energy prices, the inflation rate in Eastern Europe is also expected to increase significantly. This could reduce real earnings and thus have an effect on consumer spending. In combination with a weak currency development (for example in Turkey), this could have an additional negative effect on the consumption of certain imported goods and services. Overall, a positive development is expected for imports and exports, and the labour market is expected to remain at a good level. A significant increase in the number of tourists is predicted for tourist-oriented Eastern European countries such as Turkey or Croatia, which should also be reflected in the hospitality industry. Likewise, a continued positive development in demand is expected for Traders, as the basic food supply would become particularly important in a tense infection situation. In Poland, it will be critical to see how the current political conflict with the EU affects the economy. For example, there could be a delay in disbursement from the EU fund for coronavirus aid or further fines.
The Asian economy is expected to grow by more than 5%. In India, however, there is a risk of a renewed recession due to the worsening infection situation and the reintroduction of restrictive measures. Private consumer spending is expected to develop quite positively, especially in Q1 2021/22, despite high, rising inflation. The labour market as well as imports and exports are expected to continue to develop positively.