Three years after the Great Recession, the global economy still struggles. Several shocks over the past two years, such as the earthquake and Tsunami in Japan, and the Arab Spring, continue to impact global economic and energy growth. The debt crisis in Europe has reduced output more than expected. Hart Energy has revised its global growth forecasts downward from its previous year’s projection for 2012-2014.
Still, with the exception of Europe’s recovery, regions are on track toward near term recovery and resumption of growth. Hart Energy’s outlook for 2012 and 2013 has been revised downward by 0.8 percentage points, but the long-term GDP growth forecast remains at 4% – projected to be reached in 2015. Hart Energy forecasts that global GDP will triple to US$193 trillion in 2035 from slightly less than $70 trillion in 2010. The long-term trend line in our GDP growth forecast is still 4%. Global population is expected to increase from 6.2 billion to 8.3 billion people by 2030, according to the U.N. median world population estimate. Per capita GDP is expected to more than double from below $10,000 to more than $20,000 by 2020. Growth in demand for refined products will rebound and remain strong over the remainder of the decade. Energy efficiency improvements and reduced energy intensity will gradually dampen growth over time.