Calendar Year (CY)'14 saw global GDP grew by 3.3%, same as previous year. Growth was lower than earlier estimates of 3.7-3.8% as Euro zone, Japan and China slowed towards the second half of the year.
Growth in the United States rebounded ahead of expectations after contracting in the first quarter of 2014. GDP expanded 2.70% in CY'14, with 5.0% growth in the last quarter. Unemployment declined further and inflation pressures stayed more muted, partly reflecting the dollar appreciation and decline in oil prices.
In the Euro zone, growth in 2014 was weak at 0.8% with Germany, the largest economy in the zone, expanding by 1.5%. France grew by a modest 0.4% while Italy contracted -0.4%. Weak investment, and low consumer confidence contributed to the weak growth in the Euro zone. Growth in peripheral economies continued to be disappointing.
In Japan, the economy fell into technical recession in the third quarter of 2014. Private domestic demand did not accelerate as expected after the increase in the consumption tax rate in the second quarter, despite a cushion from increased infrastructure spending. GDP in Japan contracted 1.2% in the third quarter of 2014 year-on-year. For the full year, Japan GDP expanded by an abysmal 0.1%.
China's full-year GDP expanded by 7.4%, undershooting the government's target of 7.5% and marking the weakest expansion in 24 years. However, in December 2014, industrial output and retail sales beat expectations. Industrial output increased 7.9% year-on-year, rising from 7.2% a month earlier. Retail sales grew 11.9 per cent, accelerating from 11.7% in November. Fixed asset investment, a key driver of the economy, grew only 15.7% in 2014.
India's economy expanded by 5.2% in CY'14 with the growth driven by services sector as industrial growth continued to be sluggish.
Russian economy advanced 0.7% year-on-year in the third quarter of 2014. Growth was mainly driven by the manufacturing and transport sectors. From January to September 2014, the economy advanced 0.8%, compared with a 1.1% expansion a year earlier. For the full year, Russia grew by 0.6% in 2014.