According to the winter forecast of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (ifw Kiel) dated December 11, 2019, the momentum of the global economy has slowed down in 2019. The experts at ifw Kiel expect global gross domestic product (GDP) to rise by 3.0% in 2019. This represents a slight decline of 0.2% compared to the summer forecast. The forecast for 2019 is also 0.7% below the growth in global GDP in 2018 (3.7%).
In 2019, the global economy was burdened by an intensification of the trade conflict between the United States of America and China. The increase in customs duties and the extension of tariffs to additional product groups has greatly reduced trade between the two countries, leading to greater economic uncertainty in world trade and weaker industrial production. In the advanced economies, the overall economic situation continued to deteriorate. In the United States of America, the strong fiscal stimuli, particularly in the form of the tax reform from 2018, have expired. In contrast, the pace of expansion in the euro zone has not slowed further, primarily due to brisk private consumer demand. In Japan and the United Kingdom, industrial production even picked up. Overall, the economic gap between the advanced economies, which had been observed in the previous year, narrowed in the course of 2019.
In the emerging markets, on the other hand, economic momentum has stabilized in 2019, as the financial environment in particular has improved. A more expansive monetary policy and lower interest rates in the United States of America have led to less devaluation pressure on the currencies in the emerging markets and enabled a noticeable reduction in key interest rates. However, the economic development in the individual emerging markets varies. While GDP growth rates declined in China and India, Brazil, Russia and the other Asian emerging markets recorded an increase in the pace of expansion.
Despite geopolitical tensions and trade conflicts, the sporting goods industry continued to grow strongly worldwide in 2019. More exercise and physical activity, as well as an increasingly healthy and sustainable lifestyle, continued to gain in importance for an ever-increasing proportion of the world's population. In addition, the popularity of athletic footwear and apparel as an integral part of everyday fashion ("athleisure") increased. In addition, higher household incomes due to a stable labor market led to an increase in consumer spending on sporting goods.