Global Economy on Firmer Footing Early in 2013

China Set to Accelerate, Japan Outlook Upgraded

The global economy began the new year with strengthening fundamentals in many regions, supported by a "heavy dose" of monetary policy stimulus and the prospect for acceleration in China, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit.

"The euro crisis is less acute, investors are more adventurous and the industrial cycle is beginning to turn upwards in bellwether emerging markets," the group said in a recent report. "As a result, the outlook for global growth is improving."

In an updated monthly forecast, the group left its 2013 growth projections mostly unchanged, with Gross Domestic Product for the U.S. seen expanding 2.1%, the same as projected in December. China's growth will increase to an estimated 8.5% from 7.7% in 2012. For Japan, estimated growth was revised up, to 0.9% from 0.6% last month, in light of the government's "aggressive" stimulus efforts.

"Gains will take some months to materialize... but there should be a noticeable acceleration in economic activity from mid-2013," the group said. Still, global growth remains "exceptionally weak" at this stage in the economic recovery. "Many countries are still carrying the economic baggage of the 2008-09 global crisis."

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