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tations of slowing economic growth in the United
States and higher interest rates.
Economic prospects for Germany are very
favourable. The upswing is still fuelled by strong
export activity, but domestic demand has also picked
up. The planned tax cuts are likely to boost economic
activity in the coming six months. Tax relief is also
planned in France and Italy. In France, the economic
outlook remains very bright, and there are no signs of
inflationary pressure. Robust export activity, strong
private consumption and healthy capital spending
support growth. In Italy, growth is based on exports
and investment, whereas private consumption is still
unsatisfactory. It should benefit from the tax cuts. In
the United Kingdom prospects remain favourable but
survey results point to a slowdown in the second half
of the year, mainly due to the strong pound sterling
which is affecting exports. The trade deficit is expected to widen.
In April 2000, 652 economic experts in 80 countries
were polled by the Ifo Institute’s 68th Economic
Survey International.
The world economy is expected to continue expanding,
albeit at a somewhat slower pace than in past months.
In April, the world economic climate remained at the
all-time high reached at the beginning of the year, but
assessments of future economic activity weakened.
In Western Europe, the upswing is likely to persist
because of sound fundamentals. The weak euro
and an easing of fiscal policy in some countries
should prolong the expansion in the euro area. The
economic climate improved, although assessments
of future economic activity worsened due to expec-
Present and Expected Economic Situation
Source: ESI 68, 2/2000.
CESifo Forum