General economic development


Our plans assume that the global economic recovery that began in mid-2009 will continue during the course of 2010. We anticipate the strongest growth in the emerging markets of Asia, whereas the industrialized nations will experience only a slight upturn.

We prepare our forecasts taking into consideration the most recent assessments by external institutions, in particular economic research institutes, banks, multinational organizations and consulting firms.

North America

For the USA and Canada, we are predicting moderate growth in 2010. The Mexican economy, on the other hand, is likely to perform much more strongly following the deep recession during the reporting period.

South America

In Brazil, we are expecting strong growth in 2010, whereas the Argentinian economy will recover more slowly.

Asia-Pacific

Growth in China is likely to be in the high single digits in 2010. For Japan, we are predicting slightly positive growth coupled with a continuing deflationary trend; in India, the strong pace of expansion will increase somewhat.

Europe/Remaining markets

For the countries of Western Europe, we are predicting moderate growth. By contrast, the recovery in Central and Eastern Europe will be slightly stronger.

The South African economy will record significantly positive economic growth.

Germany

Although the process of recovery under way in Germany will continue during the course of 2010, it is likely that unemployment will continue to rise.

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