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Global Economic Forecast: Q4 2018 and Beyond


By Sara B. Potter, CFA  |  November 28, 2018

As we near the end of 2018, Sara Potter examines the performance of the global economy so far this year and presents projections for the rest of 2018 and 2019 from various sources. Read on to see Sara's key takeaways. 

  • Global economic growth is projected to come in at 3.7% for 2018, identical to the 2017 growth rate. Both the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) have recently lowered their forecasts for 2019, to 3.7% and 3.5%, respectively. The negative global impacts of tariff hikes are responsible for the weaker outlook.
  • In the United States, 2018 real GDP growth is projected to come in at 2.9%, an uptick from 2017’s 2.2% expansion. Both the IMF and OECD have lowered their forecasts for 2019 because of the weaker global outlook and already-introduced trade measures. The IMF is projecting U.S. 2019 growth to slow to 2.5% while the OECD forecast calls for 2.7% growth. The consensus estimate from analysts surveyed by FactSet is in line with the IMF forecast, indicating 2.5% economic growth in 2019.
  • Growth expectations for the eurozone have been steadily lowered over the last several months as data has continued to point to weakening economic performance. The economy grew by just 0.2% in 3Q 2018, the slowest growth in more than four years, dragged down by weak exports. Forecasts are calling for 1.9-2.0% growth in 2018, followed by 1.8% growth in 2019 according the OECD and FactSet Economic Estimates, and 1.9% growth projected by the IMF.
  • In the UK, uncertainty surrounding Brexit continues to weigh on the economy. 2018 growth is expected to come in at 1.3-1.4%, followed by 1.4-1.5% growth in 2019.
  • The Japanese economy contracted in Q3, the second quarterly contraction this year. The OECD is projecting 2018 annual growth of 0.9%, while the IMF and FactSet Estimates forecasts show 1.1% growth. This will be followed by 0.9-1.0% growth in 2019.
  • China’s economic growth is projected to continue to slow in 2018 and 2019. Following 2017 growth of 6.9%, 2018 growth is expected to come in at 6.6%, followed by 2019 growth of 6.2-6.3%.
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Sara Potter, CFA

Senior Marketing Content Specialist and Economic Contributor

Ms. Sara Potter is Senior Marketing Content Specialist and Economic Contributor at FactSet. In this role, she is in charge of thought leadership economic analysis and reports and a regular contributor to FactSet Insight where she provides commentary on a wide range of current market topics. Since joining in 1999, she has managed the economic database development team where she was responsible for the integration of third-party economic content as well as the development of FactSet Economics data. Ms. Potter is an active member of the FactSet Charity Committee which focuses on evaluating FactSet’s charitable event sponsorship and employee volunteerism programs. She earned an M.A. in International Economics and Finance from Brandeis University and holds a B.A. in Economics and French from Dartmouth College. She is a CFA charterholder.