In the first half of the year, the global economy grew at a slightly slower rate than in 2016. However, recent sentiment indicators from both the advanced economies and the emerging and developing markets suggest that economic growth has a broad foundation and that the upturn remains robust halfway through the year. This positive trend is also reflected in global trade, which grew by 1.8 % in the first three months – although preliminary market research figures indicate a loss of momentum in April.
The advanced economies continue to enjoy stable growth, despite a slightly slower pace in the first quarter. GDP growth in the USA also slowed, with an increase of just 1.4 % in the first three months of 2017 compared to quarter on quarter growth of 2.1 % in the fourth quarter of 2016.
The economies of the emerging markets also gained momentum in the first half-year, although the trend varied widely from country to country. Following a phase of weaker expansion, China reported surprisingly strong growth of 6.9 % in both the first and second quarters. The Russian economy is making modest progress. However, this more stable trend is being undermined by the recent fall in crude oil prices and resulting devaluation of the rouble. In Ukraine, the economy lost momentum at the beginning of the year despite brisker consumer spending and a strong rise in capital investments. Economic growth slowed to 2.5 % in the first quarter of 2017. Early indicators suggest that this trend continued in the second quarter.
The upswing in the eurozone continued in the first half of 2017. Despite growing uncertainty surrounding Brexit and future US economic policy, output in the eurozone is likely to have expanded by 1.6 % in the first quarter of 2017 and 1.7 % in the second quarter of 2017, compared to the same prior-year periods. Rising domestic demand will be the main growth driver.
Regardless of the uncertain international environment, the German economy remains on its growth trajectory. The economic barometer issued by the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) indicates quarter-on-quarter GDP growth of 0.5 % for the second quarter of 2017. Exports increased strongly by 7.2 % in the months from January to May 2017, compared to the same period of the previous year. Imports also recorded significant growth of 10.3 %.