Macroeconomic environment

Following the pandemic-induced recession in 2020, the global economy returned to growth in 2021. More recently, however, the economic recovery suffered several setbacks, with the result that 2022 started on a slightly less positive footing. Infection rates and supply bottlenecks will continue to hamper macroeconomic activity in 2022, although their impact should gradually lessen as the year progresses. Signs of structural inflation are evident. It remains to be seen when the European Central Bank (ECB) will implement monetary policy measures so that the effects on further developments can be better assessed. According to the latest estimates of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in January 2022, the global economy is set to expand by 4.4 % in 2022. This projection is 0.5 percentage points down on the previous forecast and reflects slower economic growth in the second half of 2021. Economic environment

Growth expectations for GDP

Growth expactation in %




Trend vs. 2021





Advanced economies








Emerging economies
















Central and Eastern Europe (emerging european economies)








World trade




Source: International Monetary Fund (IMF); January 2022

The momentum of global trade will weaken somewhat in 2022 due to the slowing pace of economic growth. However, a renewed fall in demand and the expected weakening of the pandemic will help to reduce imbalances in global supply chains. According to IMF estimates, global trade volumes will rise by 6.0 % this year.

The outlook for the economic regions of particular significance to HHLA varies for 2022. The IMF expects economic growth in China to slow and has downgraded its updated economic outlook for the world’s second-biggest economy by 0.8 percentage points to 4.8 % (as of January 2022). In particular, China’s ongoing problems in its real estate sector, its zero-COVID policy and the slower than expected recovery in private consumption are restricting economic activity. By contrast, the recovery in oil-exporting countries like Russia is likely to continue as a result of high oil prices. At the same time, however, growth forecasts for the Russian economy were downgraded slightly due to poor harvests and an unexpectedly bad infection wave. In the emerging economies of Central and Eastern Europe, economic growth is expected to reach 3.5 %. A recovery of 3.6 % is anticipated for Ukraine in 2022, although this will depend not only on successfully bringing the pandemic under control but also on how the geopolitical conflict with Russia develops (IMF, October 2021).

Overall economic activity in the eurozone is being adversely affected by the current infection wave, uncertainties surrounding new virus variants and renewed measures to contain the spread, and is likely to decrease slightly in the winter quarters of 2021/2022. As infection rates fall, restrictions on movement are lifted and supply chains become increasingly robust, industrial is likely to gather momentum once again. Nevertheless, there will be a further delay in the anticipated full economic recovery. According to the most recent IMF estimates of October 2021, Estonian GDP is expected to achieve significant growth of 4.2 %. Italy’s economic output will increase by 3.8 %. The IMF forecasts accelerated growth the German economy compared to 2021 (+3.8 %). However, this forecast was downgraded by 0.8 percentage points, primarily as a result of the export-driven economy’s susceptibility to supply chain disruptions.

Value added

Production value – intermediate inputs (cost of materials, depreciation and amortisation, and other operating expenses); the value added generated is shared between the HHLA Group’s stakeholders, such as employees, shareholders, lenders and the local community.