Per-Capita Growth Exceeding Pre-Crisis Pace Only in USA. Medium-term Projections for the World Economy until 2018

Several beneficial factors will enable the USA to enjoy the highest pace of growth among the industrialised economies in the years to come: lending behaviour has recovered from the financial market crisis and is working more smoothly nowadays than, for example, in the euro area. Investment is boosted by improving supply conditions for commodities, as shale gas and shale oil will have a major impact on energy markets. The labour force is growing rapidly and budgetary restrictions are expected to ease. While fiscal policy will turn less restrictive also in the euro area, the planned cuts in expenditure will largely occur in countries that are still struggling with the crisis and its repercussions (Portugal, Spain, Italy). The fragility of the banking sector is one of the key challenges for the euro area. Each of its members is also facing specific problems – such as the heavy export bias of the German economy, the under-developed institutional and regulatory framework in Italy or the extremely high unemployment in Spain.