18.1 Economic Outlook

Global economy

Economic Outlook



Growth1 2015


Growth forecast1 2016

Growth 2015 restated


Real growth of gross domestic product, source: IHS Global Insight


Including about 50 countries defined by IHS Global Insight as emerging markets in line with the World Bank

As of February 2016






European Union





of which Germany





United States





Emerging markets2





We anticipate somewhat accelerated growth for the global economy in 2016 compared with the previous year. Although further interest rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve are expected following the first upward step in December 2015, interest rates will likely remain low overall worldwide, thus continuing to help stimulate the economy. A supporting effect will come from the low oil price, which will provide relief to consumers and strengthen private demand.

Impetus is expected above all from the United States, where employment and consumption will probably further increase. In Europe, too, we anticipate an ongoing recovery. While the pace of economic growth continues to be held back by high unemployment, particularly in a number of southern European countries, growth in Germany will presumably pick up further. In this connection, the eurozone countries will benefit especially from the favorable euro exchange rate.

In the Emerging Markets as well, we expect rising growth rates again overall following a relatively weak prior year. By contrast, we foresee a further slowdown in growth in China. Economic output in Russia and Brazil will likely decline in 2016, albeit less severely than in the previous year.

Economic Outlook for the Segments



Growth1 2015


Growth forecast1 2016


Bayer’s estimate , except pharmaceuticals. Source for pharmaceuticals market: IMS Health. IMS Market Prognosis. Copyright 2015. All rights reserved; currency-adjusted; 2015 data provisional

As of February 2016

Pharmaceuticals market





Consumer health market





Seeds and crop protection market


≤ 0%



Animal health market





We expect growth in the pharmaceuticals market to be slower in 2016 than in the previous year. In Europe we anticipate low-single-digit percentage growth that is below the prior-year level. The pace of growth is likely to slacken in the Emerging Markets, while the Japanese pharmaceuticals market will probably stagnate. We are expecting positive momentum from the United States, where persistent growth, supported above all by new product launches, is forecasted.

We anticipate that the consumer health market will grow somewhat more slowly in 2016 than in the previous year. We expect the cold season to be weaker than in 2015 and anticipate that fewer products will be reclassified as nonprescription products, particularly in the United States. Due to the economic development in Brazil, Russia and China, we are assuming a lower pace of growth in these countries than in the previous year.

Following a weak prior year, we predict that the global seed and crop protection market will stagnate overall in 2016 due to high inventories and low prices for agricultural commodities. As in the previous year, we expect positive growth impulses to come from Europe and the Asia / Pacific region. For Asia we anticipate a further expansion of agricultural production. By contrast, we predict a tight market situation in both North and South America, with growth slower than global development.

Following growth impetus in the animal health market over the past two years as a result of successful product launches, especially in the companion animals segment, we expect a slightly slower pace of growth for the market overall in 2016.

Covestro foresees an improved economic climate in 2016 for its main customer industries (automotive, construction, electrical and electronics, and furniture). The company believes that growth impetus in North America will come from an increase in private consumption and an increase in public spending. For the European Union Covestro anticipates a continuation of the economic recovery in view of the ongoing expansionary monetary policy and the weak euro. China will once again grow more slowly overall due to industrial overcapacities and a high debt level, while positive growth signals will come from India and Japan.