Our plans assume that the global economy will continue growing. Going forward, we expect that growth will remain strongest in the emerging economies, and especially Asia and Latin America, whereas we are forecasting only moderate rates of expansion for the major industrialized nations in the medium term.
In view of the ongoing sovereign debt crisis, we are expecting to see stagnation in Western Europe overall in 2013, and recessionary trends in Southern Europe. A rapid recovery in 2014 will only be possible if substantial progress is made in solving the crises in the eurozone. In Central and Eastern European countries, on the other hand, we believe that significantly faster growth is likely, though this will be affected in no small measure by developments in Western Europe.
In the case of the South African economy, we are expecting a slight rise in growth rates in 2013 and 2014 compared with the reporting period.
Following the tailing off of the economy last year, we are forecasting only slight growth in the German economy in 2013. The situation in the labor market will remain stable for the time being. The German economy is likely to return to a moderate growth trajectory starting in 2014. The pace of growth will depend to a large extent on further developments in the eurozone.
This year, growth in the USA, Canada and Mexico will be roughly on a level with the prior year. Economic activity in North America can be expected to continue to pick up in 2014 as the global economy recovers.
In Brazil, we are anticipating significantly higher growth rates in 2013 than in 2012. Argentina will also be able to boost GDP, although inflation will remain high. Both countries should see continued growth in 2014.
We expect China’s growth rates in 2013 and 2014 to remain at the robust level recorded in 2012. In India, we anticipate that the pace of expansion will be faster than in 2012. In Japan, the economic recovery that followed the natural disasters in 2011 will slow.