As challenges to the global economy intensify, regional growth is likely to diverge next year. During 2012, we expect stronger gross domestic product (GDP) growth in Japan and the US, while economic growth in many European countries is likely to decelerate sharply or even contract a bit.
Europe is the epicenter of global weakness. We now expect the European economy as a whole to contract modestly (by 0.1%) in 2012. This change in our view on Europe prompted us to reduce our estimates of global GDP growth to 2.8% for 2011 and 2.8% for 2012. (more…)