Our plans assume that the global economy will continue growing in future. As before we expect that growth will be strongest in the emerging economies, and especially Asia and Latin America, whereas we are forecasting only moderate growth for the major industrialized nations in the medium term.
Most countries in Western Europe will probably only be able to record slight growth in 2012 due to the sovereign debt crises. Some countries are facing the likelihood of a recession. A rapid recovery in 2013 is only to be expected if clear progress is made in solving the sovereign debt crises. Developments in Western Europe will also have a decisive influence on the outlook in Central and Eastern European countries.
In the case of the South African economy, we are expecting stable growth in line with prior-year levels for 2012 and 2013.
After the strong growth in gross domestic product (GDP) seen in the past two years, we are forecasting only a slight increase in 2012. However, the labor market is expected to continue its positive development for the time being. We expect the German economy to return to a moderate growth trajectory starting in 2013.
In the case of the USA and Canada, we are forecasting that growth in 2012 will be roughly on a level with the prior year. The economy can be expected to continue to pick up in 2013 as the global economy recovers. In contrast, the Mexican economy looks set to experience a clear decline in GDP growth rates in 2012. However, the country will benefit significantly from US economic performance in the year after that.
In Brazil, we are anticipating growth in 2012 to be roughly on a level with the prior year, whereas growth in Argentinian GDP rates must be expected to ease significantly. Both countries are likely to return to above-average growth in 2013.
We expect China's dynamic growth to continue in 2012 and 2013, albeit at a lower rate than in 2011. Japan will continue to recover from the recession triggered by the natural disasters in March 2011. We expect India’s strong growth to increase slightly again in 2012 and 2013.