Macroeconomic environment

The economic outlook for 2019 is currently dominated by a high level of uncertainty. Specific risks to the global economy are posed by the further intensification of trade conflicts, the tightening of global financial conditions, concerns about Italy’s debt crisis, the delay to reforms in France and, finally, a possible no-deal Brexit. In view of the tense global economic environment, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) downgraded its outlook for 2019 slightly in January compared to October 2018.

Growth expectations for GDP

Growth expactation in %




Trend vs. 2018

Source: International Monetary Fund (IMF), January 2019





Advanced economies








Emerging economies
















Central and Eastern Europe (emerging european economies)








World trade




Global economic output is likely to be slightly lower in 2019 than in the previous year. The outlook for 2019 in the economic regions of particular significance to HHLA is also slightly gloomier, with the IMF anticipating slower economic growth of 6.2 % for China. However, the People’s Republic would thus remain the most important driver of global economic growth. Weaker forecasts for the crude oil market, structural bottlenecks and the hampering of trade by sanctions are likely to prevent any strong recovery of the Russian economy. By contrast, the economic outlook for the Commonwealth of Independent States (excluding Russia) has improved slightly: the IMF expects to see a steady expansion of total economic output of 3.7 %. According to the most recent estimates of October 2018, Estonian GDP is expected to achieve robust – albeit slightly slower – growth of 3.2 %. As a result of the tense political situation, a slowdown is also anticipated for the eurozone economy compared to 2018. Against the backdrop of the Turkish recession, the IMF has strongly downgraded its economic forecasts for Central and Eastern Europe by 1.3 percentage points and now expects much slower growth of 0.7 % for the economies of this region in 2019. The IMF also expects the pace of economic growth in Germany to slow slightly. Nevertheless, the IMF anticipates a steady increase of 4.0 % in global trade volumes for 2019.