Developments in the global economy

Our planning is based on the assumption that global economic output will recover overall in 2021, provided lasting containment of the Covid-19 pandemic is achieved. This growth will most likely be sufficient for the economy to recover to approximately its pre-pandemic level. We continue to believe that risks will arise from protectionist tendencies, turbulence in the financial markets and structural deficits in individual countries. In addition, growth prospects will be negatively impacted by ongoing geopolitical tensions and conflicts. We anticipate that both the advanced economies and the emerging markets will experience positive momentum.

Furthermore, we anticipate that the global economy will also continue to grow in the period from 2022 to 2025.

Europe/Other Markets

In Western Europe, we expect moderate economic growth in 2021 after the downturn in the last fiscal year. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the uncertain consequences of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU will fundamentally pose major challenges.

We also anticipate moderate growth rates in Central Europe in 2021. The economic situation in Eastern Europe is expected to recover as well, albeit at a somewhat slower pace given that only slight growth is anticipated for the Russian economy.

For Turkey, we expect an increasing economic growth rate combined with high inflation and a weak domestic currency. The South African economy will probably be dominated by political uncertainty and social tensions again in 2021 resulting from high unemployment, among other factors. Despite the sharp slump in the past fiscal year, we therefore expect only moderate growth.


We expect gross domestic product (GDP) in Germany to grow at a relatively robust pace in 2021 but to remain short of its pre-pandemic level. The labor market situation is likely to deteriorate somewhat depending, among other things, on a delayed increase in corporate insolvencies following the suspension of the obligation to file for insolvency during the pandemic.

North America

We anticipate a distinct improvement in the economic situation in the USA in 2021, despite a declining but still relatively high unemployment rate. The US Federal Reserve will probably leave key interest rates close to zero. Economic growth is also likely to increase distinctly in neighboring Canada and Mexico, although growth in Mexico is not expected to match the pace of the relatively sharp decline in the reporting year.

South America

In all probability, the Brazilian economy will recover in 2021 and record a moderate rate of growth. After three years of negative GDP growth rates, we anticipate only little improvement in the economic situation in Argentina. Inflation is likely to remain very high and the local currency to depreciate.


The Chinese economy will probably continue growing at a relatively high level in 2021 after being one of the few economies not to experience a recession in 2020. After a sharp contraction in the reporting year, we also expect a relatively high rate of expansion for the Indian economy in 2021, outpacing the average growth seen in the years before the Covid-19 pandemic. In Japan, we anticipate a solid rise in GDP growth.