General economic conditions

After the global economy showed weak development in calendar year 2016, there was a recovery in fiscal year 2016/17. The upward trend that began in the second half of 2016 strengthened further in the first half-year 2017. In its autumn forecast, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) therefore expects an increase of 3.6 % for global economic growth in 2017 and is improving its spring forecast by 0.1 percentage points.

However, this is accompanied by an unbalanced development, because sections of the economy did not fully follow the positive trend. In particular, developing countries that export commodities and oil face a difficult environment. The IMF estimates a wider recovery in developed economies, as well as in individual emerging markets (mostly in Asia), and considers three quarters of the global economy to be participating in the positive development.

As compared with spring 2017, there were positive revisions for the euro zone as well as for Asian and European emerging economies. This compensated for the slight weakening in the USA and Great Britain.

Expected GDP growth 2017

Chart: Expected GDP growth 2017

The IMF sees growth of 2.1 % for the euro zone and 2.0 % for Germany in 2017. It is as such increasing its spring forecast by 0.4 % respectively. Increased exports and good consumer demand were mentioned as driving forces. The federal government also raised its forecast for Germany from 1.5 % in the spring to 2.0 %.

This was followed by the IMF’s slightly lower revaluation of economic growth for the USA, with 2.2 %. The sentiment among companies and consumers was good; however, the course of US politics held risks.

In China, the economy grew more strongly than expected, partially due to good exports. With 6.8 %, economic growth is expected to be slightly more than the April estimate of 6.6 % and the previous year’s level of 6.7 %.

Global financial markets also showed positive development in 2017. Stock markets were in a upwards trend; the US Federal Reserve repeatedly raised prime rates; in Europe, the European Central Bank adhered to its zero-interest policy but announced a reduction in bond purchases for 2018.