Outlook macroeconomy and sector

In its July outlook for 2019, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) largely stood by the forecasts it made at the start of the year. The IMF continues to expect moderately positive economic growth of 3.2 % on the whole for 2019. The organisation only made a minor correction of 0.4 percentage points to its January forecast for the emerging economies, where it anticipates robust growth of 4.1 %. The IMF’s outlook for Russia was somewhat gloomier and it downgraded its growth forecast for 2019 by 0.4 percentage points to 1.2 %. As a result of further escalations in the trade dispute between the USA and China, the IMF also lowered its April 2019 outlook for global trade growth by 0.9 percentage points to 2.5 %. In April, the panel of experts had already downgraded its outlook by 0.6 percentage points.

The market research institute Drewry has made noticeable adjustments to its sector outlook for certain shipping regions, compared to the beginning of the year In view of the ongoing political uncertainty and trade conflicts, for example, it has significantly reduced its growth forecasts for global container throughput from 4.1 % to 3.0 %. The outlook for throughput in the European shipping regions, however, has brightened: the experts now anticipate throughput growth in Europe of 2.6 % for 2019 (previously: 2.2 %). The outlook for Scandinavia and the Baltic region was upgraded considerably from 2.4 % at the beginning of the year to 4.2 %. For the Western Mediterranean region, experts now assume an increase in container throughput of 2.0 % (previously: 1.2 %). The outlook for the North-West European ports and the Eastern Mediterranean/Black Sea region has remained largely unchanged, however, with increases of 3.3 % (previously: 3.2 %) and 1.2 % (previously: 1.1 %), respectively.