Global economic climate brightening

The global economy is picking up momentum. According to the Munich-based ifo polling firm the global economic climate improved over the first quarter of 2007 after it had slightly cooled off in the second half of 2006. The improvement relates to the current economic situation as well as to expectations with regard to the six months to come. Therefore, experts expect global economic activities to remain strong in the first half of 2007.

The ifo global economy index has increased for the three major economic regions of Western Europe, North America and Asia. In Western Europe the evaluation of the current economic situation was again particularly positive for Germany, Austria and Belgium. For North America the overall index has also risen even though the expectations for the coming six months are rather cautious.

The indicator for Asia was up too. The rise, however, is based on different economic developments in several countries of this region: For Japan and South Korea the economic forecasts were somehow less promising, whereas they remained unchanged for China and were improving with regard to India.

The price rises expected for 2007 were slightly down with regard to the US (2.5% as opposed to 3.1% in 2006) as well as for Western Europe (2.1% as opposed to 2.2% in 2006). Inflation in Asia is expected to remain stabile at 2.8%. GERMAN