Business Development

The global economy recorded only moderate growth in fiscal year 2013. Global demand for vehicles registered slower growth than in the previous year. The Volkswagen Group increased its deliveries to customers by 4.9% year-on-year, amid difficult market conditions.


Global economic growth in the reporting period was down on the previous year’s level, at 2.5% (2.6%). The economic situation in the industrialized nations improved slightly in the course of the year despite the continued presence of structural obstacles. Most emerging economies recorded robust economic growth. Inflation was moderate despite the expansionary monetary policies of many central banks.

Europe/Remaining markets

In Western Europe, GDP stagnated after declining by 0.3% in the previous year. Most Southern European EU countries again recorded negative growth rates in the reporting period due to the negative effects of the sovereign debt crisis, among other things. By contrast, growth rates were positive in most Northern European countries. The overall unemployment rate in Europe continued to rise, reaching 12.6% (11.8%). Unemployment in Greece, Portugal, Spain and Cyprus was well above this average.

In Central and Eastern Europe, GDP growth declined to an average of 2.1% (2.4%), primarily due to the muted growth in Russia of 1.6% (3.4%).

At 1.8%, South Africa’s economic growth was down on the prior-year level of 2.5%.


The positive consumer sentiment and stable situation in the labor market were unable to cushion the impact of the weaker global economic trend on the German economy in 2013. At 0.5%, Germany’s GDP growth was down year-on-year (0.9%).

North America

In the USA, the rate of economic expansion was lower than in 2012, at 1.9% (2.8%), despite a positive consumer climate and declining unemployment. The US dollar was volatile against the euro during the period and was lower at the end of the year. Canada’s GDP rose by 1.7% (1.7%) and the Mexican economy expanded by just 1.3% (3.9%).

South America

Brazil’s growth rate recovered to reach 2.3% (1.0%), while GDP growth rose sharply to 4.9% in Argentina (1.9%). The economic situation in both countries was marred by structural deficits and high rates of inflation.


At 7.7% (7.7%), China’s economic growth was above the central government’s target rate of 7.5%. Economic growth reached 5.0% (5.1%) in India and was curbed by structural problems and considerable price increases. In Japan, the monetary and fiscal policy measures and the devaluation of the yen saw economic growth stabilizing at 1.7% (1.4%).

Percentage change in GDP
Index based on month-end prices: December 31, 2012 = 100