Annual Report 2022

Macroeconomic development

Development of gross domestic product (GDP)

in %










Advanced economies










Emerging economies












- 2.2








Central and Eastern Europe (emerging European economies)










World trade





Source: International Monetary Fund (IMF); January 2023

The global economy weakened over the course of the year due to the impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, high energy prices, a restrictive fiscal policy and the resurgence of the coronavirus pandemic in China. Various other one-off factors and major uncertainty also dampened the economic outlook. Nevertheless, global output temporarily rallied during the third quarter of 2022 following a weak first half to the year. The easing of supply bottlenecks, strong demand and the gradual resumption of normality for industries hit particularly hard by the pandemic provided a major impetus. Dampening effects such as a temporary massive inventory reduction in the United States were also absent in the third quarter. Economic growth was surprisingly robust in several advanced and major emerging economies. By year-end, however, this growth had significantly slowed in most – if not all – major economies. According to estimates of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), global economic growth for 2022 as a whole amounted to 3.4 %.

In the advanced economies, the basic trend was one of weakening economic performance. Total economic output rose by 2.7 % in 2022 as a whole. The major central banks were late to respond to the steep rise in inflation but then raised base rates in uncharacteristically large steps. Boosted by consumer spending and a low unemployment rate, the US economy proved surprisingly strong and expanded by 2.0 %. In Europe, the economy was also more resilient than expected and weathered the negative effects of the war in Ukraine well. This resilience resulted partially from government support of around 1.2 % of the European Union’s gross domestic product (GDP) for homes and businesses affected by the energy crisis, as well as from the catch-up effects of economies starting to open up again. The easing of gas prices in particular also helped the region. The IMF expects eurozone GDP to grow by 3.5 % in 2022.

The emerging economies also performed well on the whole, despite the challenging conditions. According to IMF estimates, economic growth reached 3.9 % in 2022. At the same time, the pandemic exacerbated the economic downturn in China. Beijing’s zero-Covid policy, accompanied by extensive coronavirus-related lockdowns, served to dampen macroeconomic activity. After several major Covid-19 outbreaks, the authorities initially responded by easing containment measures and abandoned the zero-Covid policy altogether in December. According to the IMF, the world’s second largest economy grew by 3.0 % in 2022.

After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Western countries imposed numerous sanctions. In addition, more and more companies in the West are voluntarily withdrawing from the country, mothballing their production facilities or suspending deliveries to Russia. According to IMF estimates, Russian GDP shrank by 2.2 % in 2022. IMF estimates in October 2022 stated that the Ukrainian economy has collapsed by more than a third as a result of the Russian invasion (- 35.0 %). The energy infrastructure in particular has been the target of Russian attacks. According to the IMF's experts, the Estonian economy expanded by 1.0 % in 2022 (IMF, October 2022).

Despite inflation, the war in Ukraine and ongoing supply issues, the German economy achieved growth in the past year, buoyed in particular by post-pandemic catch-up effects. Foreign trade also grew in 2022, despite the steep price increases. Although the pace of economic growth slowed towards the end of the year, German economic output expanded by 1.9 % during 2022 as a whole.

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