Global economic development
Our plans assume that the global economy will grow slightly faster in 2014 than in the reporting period. Going forward, we anticipate that growth will remain strongest in the emerging economies of Asia. While we expect to see signs of recovery in the economies of the major industrialized nations, the rates of expansion will remain moderate in the medium term.
We believe that the global economy will continue growing in the period 2015 to 2018.
In Western Europe, we are forecasting a consolidation in 2014 of the economic recovery that began in the reporting period. However, developments remain contingent on structural problems being resolved, especially in Southern Europe.
In Central and Eastern European countries, on the other hand, whose economies are heavily dependent on the economic situation in Western Europe, we believe that significantly faster growth on a level with the previous year is likely. We expect the Russian economy to record a slightly higher rate of expansion than in 2013.
In 2014, the South African economy will continue to suffer the effects of political uncertainty and social tensions resulting primarily from high unemployment levels, though the pace of growth should accelerate somewhat once again.
We believe that the uptrend in Germany will be sustained in 2014 with rising growth rates. The situation in the labor market is also expected to remain positive.
We expect economic activity in North America to continue to pick up in 2014. In our view, growth in the USA, Canada and Mexico will strengthen compared with the prior year.
In Brazil, we anticipate that growth rates in 2014 will be on a level with the prior year. Argentina’s economy is expected to continue growing, albeit at a slower pace and with persistently high inflation, which is weighing on the business climate.
Growth in China will remain at a high level and in 2014 is again expected to reach the target set by the government. In India, we estimate that the pace of expansion will remain moderate following recent below-average growth. The Japanese economy is likely to continue growing on a level with the previous year on the back of the expansionary monetary policy.