Annual Report 2023

Economic Outlook

Global Economy

For fiscal 2024, we expect slower, but positive, global economic growth of 2.4%. We anticipate weaker consumer spending and the continuing poor performance of industries sensitive to interest rates, such as the construction industry, to drive the slowdown.

We believe growth in the EMLA region will slightly underperform the global pace. Due to declining consumer spending, high interest rates, and higher energy prices than in other regions, we expect the economy in Europe to expand only modestly. For Germany’s export-oriented economy, we anticipate negative growth in economic output of 0.1% in the year 2024. For the Middle East, we believe that slight growth will likely outperform the global economic expansion. The oil industry is anticipated to be a driver of this development, with oil prices expected to persist at a high level for the time being. We anticipate that growth in Latin America will be below the global level. For Africa, we forecast slight economic growth, outpacing the global growth rate.

For the NA region, we believe that the economy will slow down, with a growth rate below the global level. In the United States, the impact of significant increases in the federal funds rate will noticeably weigh on companies’ profits and capital expenditure. Consumer spending is likely to decline because of higher unemployment. Against this backdrop, we expect the United States to generate economic growth of 2.3% in the year 2024.

Economic growth in the APAC region will likely outperform the global economy. We anticipate economic growth of 4.4% for China in fiscal 2024. We also anticipate that economic stimulus measures taken by the government in China will stabilize macroeconomic developments in the region in fiscal 2024, even though risks in the real estate sector will persist.

Economic growth1








Growth 2023


Growth forecast 2024











Europe, Middle East, Latin America2, Africa (EMLA)





of which Europe





of which Germany





of which Middle East





of which Latin America2





of which Africa





North America3 (NA)





of which United States





Asia-Pacific (APAC)





of which China






Real growth of gross domestic product; source: Oxford Economics, as of February 2024.


Latin America (excluding Mexico).


North America (Canada, Mexico, United States).

Main Customer Industries

In 2024, we forecast positive growth of 0.8% for the global automotive industry. The higher order backlogs from prior years will by then have been cleared, and this will lead to a slowdown in the industry’s economic performance in the year 2024. Growth will likely be driven by the EMLA and NA regions, while slightly negative growth is expected for the APAC region.

For the year 2024, we anticipate negative growth of 2.5% for the global construction industry. Poor economic growth, the high cost of construction materials, labor shortages, high inflation and high construction loan interest rates are expected to continue to weigh on the construction industry in the year 2024. We forecast slightly negative growth for all regions.

In the year 2024, we anticipate that the global electrical, electronics, and household appliances industry will grow by 1.5%. Growth in the industry will probably continue to be weak in the year 2024, although rising demand for electronics and IT hardware in private households is expected to lead to stronger growth than in the previous year. We therefore forecast a slightly positive trend for all regions.

In 2024, we anticipate positive growth of 0.1% for the global furniture industry. High inflation, rising selling prices, a slowdown in consumer demand, and lower investments in the housing sector will again have a dampening effect on growth prospects in the year 2024. We anticipate slightly negative performance for the EMLA region and modestly positive growth rates for the APAC region, while performance in the NA region will probably remain stable.

Growth in main customer industries1








Growth 2023


Growth forecast 2024
















Electrical, electronics, and household appliances











Covestro’s estimate, based on the following sources: GlobalData Plc, B+L, CSIL (Centre for Industrial Studies), Oxford Economics. We limited the economic data of our “automotive and transportation” and “furniture and wood processing” main customer industries to the automotive and furniture segments (excluding the transportation or wood processing segments). As of: February 2024.

Comprises all countries in the Asia and Pacific region.
Comprises all countries in Europe, the Middle East, Latin America (excluding Mexico), and Africa.
NA/North America
Region comprising Canada, Mexico, and the United States.

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