2017 Integrated Report – Departure into a new era

Improving economic outlook

  • Forecasts for development in 2018 are based on the assumption of no material change in the geopolitical situation.

Anticipated development (%)



World trade



GDP world



GDP eurozone



GDP Germany



The data for 2017, adjusted for price and calendar effects, is based on the information and estimates available as of February 2018. Expectations for 2018 are rounded off to the nearest half percentage point.
Source: Oxford Economics

In 2018, we expect global economic growth to continue at the level of the previous year. Consumption growth in Europe and Germany, however, will decrease slightly, but investments, on the other hand, will increase significantly. Asia will likely also display growth at a high level. Our ex­pectations for North America are also positive. One reason for this is that the tax reform in the USA will reduce the burden on companies. Accordingly, we expect that investments will be the main driver of growth, while the contribution of private consumption will slightly decrease. Growth in the global goods trade will likely slow down somewhat in 2018 compared to the previous year. The reason for this assessment is the lack of stimuli from further liberalization or production changes.

Risks for the global economy and trade arise particularly from geopolitical developments such as the Korea crisis, Brexit and an economic policy in the USA that is hard to predict. But the high debt level of companies and governments also carries risks for financial markets and economic development.