Overview of the region’s economy in 2015 and growth projections for 2016
Global economic growth is still sluggish, and will remain so in the medium term. The world economy grew by 2.4%
in 2015, slightly less than the 2.6% posted in 2014. In 2016 the global economy is expected to recover somewhat,
with expansion of 2.9%.
The 2015 growth performance was marked by a slowdown in the emerging economies, whose growth declined
from 4.3% in 2014 to 3.8% in 2015, and particularly China, which grew by less than 7% for the first time since 1990
(around 6.8%). This contrasts with India’s growth trajectory, which has been rising steadily since 2013 and reached
7.2% in 2015. The growth rate for the group of developed countries, meanwhile, though still well below those of the
developing world, edged up from 1.7% in 2014 to 1.9% in 2015. In 2016 the emerging economies are expected to
return to 2014 growth rates, at 4.3%. Growth in the developed countries will tick up to 2.2%.
Global growth projections for 2016 are highly subject to the trajectory of the Chinese economy, which has been
slowing heavily. Amid mounting uncertainty arising from financial volatility in China, combined with its shift from
an investment-based to a consumption-based growth strategy, projections point to a deceleration to around 6.4%. A
sharper slowdown in China in 2016 would bring down global growth projections, as well.
World trade has been growing even more slowly than the global economy, with an expansion of just 1.5% in
volume during the first nine months of 2015 relative to the year-earlier period, this being the lowest rate since the
international financial crisis of 2008 and 2009. Global trade volumes are expected to climb modestly in 2016, by
Prices for raw materials, a key factor for the economies of the region, continued to decline in 2015, with no
significant change expected for 2016. Between January 2011 and October 2015, prices for metals and energy (oil,
gas and coal) fell by almost 50%, and food prices by 30%. Energy products saw the largest decline in 2015, with
prices dropping by 24% between January and October, during which period prices for metals fell by 21% and for
agricultural commodities by 10%.