Latest update: 30 March

After months of decline, GDP estimates for many countries have turned positive, but unemployment remains high around the world.

According to UNCTAD, global trade declined by 9% in 2020 with a 6% contraction in goods trade and a 16.5% contraction in services trade.


Consensus forecast for real GDP growth in 2021 globally


Forecast for China's real GDP growth in 2021, 3.2% higher than the US

Global real GDP growth

% change on previous year




Pre-Covid-19 2020 forecast

Adjusted 2020 forecast

2021 consensus forecast

The global economy is forecast to return to pre-crisis levels by the end of 2021 or early 2022.

The global economy is projected to grow at record speed in 2021, but the outlook is uncertain and will depend on the effectiveness and distribution of the vaccines and on continued fiscal and monetary support. Recovery will be uneven across countries, sectors, and income levels.


Latest update: 17 March

Construction industry outlook

Despite the huge stimulus packages, sharp cuts in interest rates and other unprecedented policy measures across all major markets, the construction industry is likely to be subdued beyond the immediate period of lockdowns and other containment measures.

Generally, the construction industry will be heavily affected by the expected widespread disruption to economic activity and a likely drop in investment, with planned projects being delayed or cancelled


GlobalData expects that global construction output will expand by 4.5% in 2021 following the estimated contraction of 2.9% in 2020.

There are short-term challenges to getting back to a normal level of activity, not least those related to making sites Covid-19 secure and adhering to local regulations, notably social distancing rules and self-quarantining of workers. However, with the distribution of vaccines on the horizon, the risk of severe disruption has diminished.

Construction sub-sector impact

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