GDP Growth Predictions Indicate Sluggish Recovery, but Possible Return to Form In 2013 For Some Economies

Each month, The Economist asks a group of renowned economists to forecast GDP growth in 2012 and 2013.  Of the fourteen countries/regions considered in the March poll (one of which is the entire Euro area), Japan is the only nation expected to have a higher GDP growth in ’12 than in ’13.  This discrepancy is due to massive spending on earthquake-related reconstruction, as well as the government’s new policy of subsidizing energy-efficient cars.  Australia is predicted to have the highest GDP growth of all the countries, topping off at a 3.1% increase in 2012, and a 3.3% increase in 2013.  Italy and Spain performed the worst in the poll, due to great uncertainty regarding both countries’ financial stability.  Economists predict that the United States will have a 2.1% GDP growth rate in 2012, and a slightly higher 2.2% rate in 2013.  The Euro area is expected to endure negative GDP growth in the current year, with an average prediction of -0.6% change.  While it seems that the polled economists view the world to be on its way to recovery, they still view it to be an uphill battle.  The sluggish rebound from the Great Recession is characterized by the 1.4% average growth predicted in 2012, but the picture does look brighter in 2013.  The averages point to a return to form for many of the major economies around the world in 2013; however, other countries such as Italy, Spain and France are expected to remain hindered by the recession and its wide-ranging effects.   

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