Annual Report 2023

Macroeconomic forecast

Growth expectations for GDP

Growth expectation in %




Trend vs. 2023





Advanced economies




















Emerging economies (newly industrialising and developing countries)




Emerging Asian economies








Central and Eastern Europe (emerging European economies)








Latin America and the Caribbean




World trade




Source: International Monetary Fund (IMF); January 2024

The recovery of the global economy appeared astonishingly robust in 2023, despite high inflation and tight monetary policy. Although growth in 2024 will continue to be burdened by high interest rates put in place to counter inflation, as well as the loss of fiscal support due to high levels of debt, many national economies proved to be unexpectedly resilient in 2023. As a result, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is upbeat about the macroeconomic outlook for 2024 and upgraded its latest forecast for global economic growth slightly by 0.2 percentage points to 3.1 % in January 2024. This more optimistic outlook primarily reflects the upgraded forecasts for 2023 for China, the United States and the major emerging and developing economies. At the same time, global growth remains below the historic average of the past two decades.

In 2024, the pace of economic growth is likely to slow marginally in the advanced economies compared to the previous year. Slightly weaker growth of 2.1 % (previously: 2.5 %) is forecast for the United States in 2024, as the IMF assumes that the effects of tighter fiscal policies and a weaker labour market will slow overall demand.

The current phase of economic weakness in the eurozone is due to end during the forecast period. The declining impact of the energy price shock, falling inflation and rising real wages are likely to stimulate private consumption and bolster the economy. As a result, the IMF expects that macroeconomic activity in the eurozone will grow by 0.9 % in 2024. The IMF once again expects only minor growth for the German economy in 2024. The IMF’s economists recently downgraded their economic forecast significantly and now only expect growth of 0.5 %. In October 2023, the IMF had forecast growth of 0.9 %. As a result, Germany is once again expected to have the lowest growth of the G7 countries. Italy’s economic output is likely to increase by 0.7 %.

By contrast, stable growth is expected for the emerging and developing economies.

The IMF expects economic growth in China to tail off this year, compared with 2023. The property market crisis and weak domestic consumption will burden the economy in 2024. Poorer job prospects and high unemployment among young people are expected to exacerbate the situation. At the same time, the economic outlook for the world’s second-biggest economy has been upgraded by 0.4 percentage points to 4.6 %. This upgrade reflects the unexpectedly strong growth over the past year and higher state spending on expanding the country’s capacity to withstand the effects of natural disasters.

After unexpectedly benefiting from the growth of their major trading partners and strong domestic demand in 2023, the gross national product of the Latin America and Caribbean economic zone is likely to decline again to 1.9 % in 2024. This decrease primarily reflects the negative growth in Argentina in connection with the country’s economic reforms.

For the emerging economies of Central and Eastern Europe, the IMF’s experts anticipate growth of 2.8 %. The economic recovery in Russia is set to continue during the forecast period. The IMF has upgraded its forecast for Russia to growth of 2.6 %, although this also includes a carry-over effect from the unexpectedly strong growth in 2023.

The outlook for the Ukrainian economy is still uncertain and depends on how the war develops. In its outlook of October 2023, the IMF forecast economic growth of 3.2 % for Ukraine. According to the most recent IMF estimates of October 2023, GDP in Estonia is expected to grow by 2.4 %.

The IMF’s economists expect world trade volumes to increase by 3.3 % during the forecast period, which is still below the historical average. Increasing trade distortion and geo-economic fragmentation are putting pressure on global trade. Countries around the world imposed around 3,200 new trade restrictions in 2022 and around 3,000 in 2023.

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