The fact that investments increased significantly in the first quarter of 2018 also points to a continuing positive economic trend. The declines in exports and imports should not be overestimated, as fluctuations from quarter to quarter are not unusual. Under no circumstances can the moderate development of exports already be attributed to the US tariff threats. In our opinion, the global economic outlook remains positive, especially as demand from Europe is proving robust. Nevertheless, the risks to the global economy have increased in view of the trade tensions. However, we remain convinced that negotiations will prevent a trade war.
Continued strong employment growth implies that the outlook for disposable income remains favorable. We therefore expect consumer demand to become more dynamic in the further course of the year, even if the higher oil price is likely to dampen purchasing power slightly.