Expected Macroeconomic Environment

After global economic growth stagnated at the prior-year level in 2016, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects increased momentum in the forecast period with global GDP growth of 3.4 % in 2017. This trend will be driven by both the advanced and the emerging economies, for which the IMF forecasts a positive economic development. However, the outlook is still subject to economic risks arising from the Brexit vote and the change of government in the USA, among other things. Despite this uncertain environment, the IMF expects world trade to pick up significantly. At 3.8 %, growth is likely to be twice as fast as in the previous year. This would match the 2014 level and global trade would outpace GDP growth for the first time in three years.

Growth Expectations for GDP

in %




Trend vs. 2016

Source: International Monetary Fund (IMF), January 2017





Advanced economies








Emerging economies
















Central and Eastern Europe
(emerging european economies)








World trade




Sentiment indicators in the advanced economies point to a slight economic upturn. The IMF has upgraded its forecast slightly and now expects total economic output to increase by 1.9 % in 2017. Growth will be driven by the USA in particular, where the newly elected government has announced a more expansive fiscal policy to stimulate the economy. The emerging economies should see stronger economic growth in 2017 but uncertainties remain. Although the IMF has lowered its economic outlook slightly by 0.1 percentage point, it still expects a significant 4.5 % increase in economic activity for 2017. According to IMF estimates, the downturn in the Chinese economy resulting from politically initiated structural changes will not continue as strongly as expected in October 2016. In view of this more stable trend, the IMF has lifted its outlook for 2017 slightly to 6.5 %. However, this is still 0.2 percentage points below the prior-year figure. Experts believe that the Russian economy will pull out of recession in the forecast period. Higher crude oil prices in particular will provide relief. However, structural bottlenecks and the restrictions on trade imposed by sanctions will prevent a stronger economic recovery. The IMF is therefore upholding its growth forecast of 1.1 %. The IMF assumes that GDP growth in the eurozone in 2017 will be stronger than forecast in October 2016, but still slightly down on the previous year at 1.6 %. After a slowdown in 2016, the IMF anticipates slightly stronger growth of 3.1 % in Central and Eastern Europe in the forecast period. The IMF’s experts also anticipate further robust growth of 1.5 % for the German economy – albeit slightly below the prior-year level.