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Results of the Ifo World Economic Survey (WES) of 4th quarter 2012 (15 November 2012)

Ifo World Economic Climate Remains Overcast

The Ifo World Economic Climate Indicator continued to fall in the fourth quarter, although only slightly. The decline was due to both less favourable assessments of the current economic situation and downwardly revised expectations for the ix-month economic outlook. The majority of WES experts cited insufficient demand as the main economic problem at the moment. The world economy is treading water.

 While the economic climate indicator in North America and Asia declined only slightly versus the third quarter, the drop was somewhat larger in Western Europe. This was due to less favourable assessments of both the current economic ituation and the economic outlook. In North America the current economic situation was reported to have deteriorated somewhat versus the previous quarter, while expectations, on the other hand, are now more positive, albeit only slightly. This primarily applies to the USA. In Canada, by contrast, the values of both climate components are significantly less positive than to date. In Asia the overall current economic situation remains at an unsatisfactory level. Although expectations were somewhat scaled back, they remain positive.

World average inflation estimates for 2012 increased slightly from 3.4% to 3.6%. WES experts on average expect short-term interest rates to remain largely unchanged over the next six months. However, they believe that long-term interest rates are set to increase slightly. On worldwide average economic experts expect hardly any further growth in the value of the US dollar over the next six months.

Hans-Werner Sinn
President of the Ifo Institute

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World Economy (Index, new base year: 2005 = 100)

Quarter/year IV/10 I/11 II/11 III/11 IV/11 I/12 II/12 III/12 IV/12
Climate 98.6 106.8 107.7 97.7 78.7 82.4 95.0 85.1 82.4
Situation 95.3 102.8 108.4 99.1 86.0 84.1 87.9 78.5 76.6
Expectations 101.8 110.5 107.0 96.5 71.9 80.7 101.8 91.2 87.7

Climate (2005=100)

Quarter/year IV/10 I/11 II/11 III/11 IV/11 I/12 II/12 III/12 IV/12
North America 82.8 104.6 98.7 81.2 69.5 87.9 95.4 81.2 80.3
Western Europe 105.2 113.2 115.1 105.2 81.4 82.4 99.3 89.3 83.4
Asia 95.6 105.3 101.8 94.7 77.2 74.6 90.4 83.3 81.6


Since 1981 the Ifo Institute has conducted a quarterly survey in numerous countries on business cycle developments and other economic factors in the experts’ home countries. The October 2012 survey received responses from 1,156 experts in 124 countries.
The survey is conducted in co-operation with the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris (ICC).

Detailed Publication

  1. Plenk, Johanna, Gernot Nerb, Klaus Wohlrabe and Michael Kleemann, "CESifo World Economic Survey November 2012", CESifo World Economic Survey 11 (4), 2012, 1-28 | Details | PDF Download

  1. Nerb, Gernot and Johanna Plenk, "ifo Weltwirtschaftsklima bleibt eingetrübt", ifo Schnelldienst 65 (22), 2012, 19-30 | Details | PDF Download


Johanna Garnitz

Ifo Institute
Ifo Center for Business Cycle Analysis and Surveys
Phone: +49(0)89/9224-1227
Fax: +49(0)89/907795-1227
Email: garnitz @

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