According to the latest forecasts of the International Monetary Fund, the world economy is growing at different rates; the GDP in advanced economies is expected to grow by 2.4% in 2011 and by 2.6% in 2012, while in emerging economies it will reach an excellent +6.5% both this year and the coming year.
Emerging countries are driving the world economy: the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China). China confirms and reinforces its leading role, with forecast growth of 9.6% in 2011 and 9.5% in 2012, whereas the Indian economy seems to be slowing down, with GDP down by 0.2 percentage points in both 2011 and 2012, and forecast growth of 8.2% and 7.8% in the two years.
The growth forecast for the US economy in 2011 has been lowered to 2.8%, 0.2 percentage points below the January forecasts, while GDP will grow by +2.9% in 2012. On the other hand, the IMF has adjusted its estimate for Eurozone countries upwards: +1.6% for this year and +1.8% in 2012. Germany is growing faster than its other European partners thanks above all to exports towards BRIC countries, and the result confirms the decisions of the German government.
Where Italy is concerned, the IMF predicts a weak recovery, although growth forecasts have been adjusted upwards. Italian GDP will increase by 1.1% in 2011, or 0.1 percentage points above the January estimates, and by 1.3% next year. The state of Italy's public sector debt will also improve, but unemployment remains the most worrying issue.
According to the IMF, there are 205 million unemployed people in the world, 30 million more than there were in 2007. For the countries in the Euro zone, the Fund estimates unemployment at 9.9% in 2011 and 9.6% in 2012; Italy is below the European average with an unemployment rate of 8.6% in 2011 and 8.3% the following year. The 15-to- 24 age bracket is the hardest hit, and ISTAT data seem to confirm the International Monetary Fund's concerns: in 2010 the unemployment rate among young people reached 27.8%, an element that should at the very least encourage the adoption of special measures for the labour market.
The prospects for the Piedmontese economy also seem to be more than positive, after the first signs of a recovery seen in 2010. The forecast scenario developed by Prometeia envisages that GDP growth will be stable at 0.9% this year and next year, increasing to 1.4% in the years 2013-2014.
Exports are also expected to grow, albeit at a lower rate than in 2010, a year in which the regional economy was particularly buoyant, +5.6% for the current year, an increase that will become less consistent next year (+4.1%), stabilising at +3.9% in 2013.
Domestic demand is positive and will continue to grow: +0.8% in 2011, a positive trend that will continue in the next two years, with average annual growth of 1.2%. Piedmontese businessmen are again looking to the short-term future with a certain amount of optimism. In all, 36% of the businessmen interviewed declare that they expect further growth in industrial output in the first half of 2011, while 19% predict that it will shrink.
Source: Unioncamere Piemonte, 157ª Indagine congiunturale sull'industria manifatturiera piemontese
With regard to domestic demand, 33% of those interviewed expect it to increase in the first half of 2011, while 20% of businessmen predict that it will fall. The optimists prevail over the pessimists by 21 percentage points where foreign demand is concerned, while the same balance stood at +9% in the 3rd quarter of 2010.
Where employment is concerned, forecasts of stability prevail; the optimistspessimists balance is nil, although this still marks a leap forward compared to the balance of -6% in the 3rd quarter of the year.