Global growth sinks into sluggishness


The rise in central bank rates is starting to weigh on activity, which should slow in Europe and the United States in the second half of 2023.

Serial bankruptcies of German department stores, soaring US interest rates, Chinese real estate crisis… For the past few weeks, worrying signs for the health of the global economy have multiplied. “Business failures are increasing everywhere; they have already exceeded their 2019 level in the United Kingdom, Canada and even Sweden,” observes Bruno de Moura Fernandes, economist at Coface.

World trade is in recession (–0.7% in the first quarter of 2023) and geopolitical risks continue to weigh on activity. “Nothing really catastrophic,” reassures Charles-Henri Colombier, economist at Rexecode. But the outlook is bleak, and the economy is expected to show persistent weakness in the second half of the year. »

At the beginning of 2023, the strong concerns linked to the energy crisis had quickly dissipated to give way to a partly excessive optimism: Europe was able to do without Russian gas, China was finally reopening its economy, and tourism was on the rise again. wheel caps. “But both manufacturing and business climate indicators have turned out to be rather bad, and we have now returned to measured pessimism,” summarizes Hélène Baudchon, economist at BNP Paribas.

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