The year 2012 was supposed to be one of government deleveraging when the constraints on growth caused by the sovereign debt crisis in Europe and the United States were gradually loosened. Instead, 2012 became the year of intense political wrangling on how and when these challenges would be resolved, with insufficient progress overall.
Uncertainty about everything from the future U.S. political and policy environment to the complexities of stabilizing the euro zone caused businesses and consumers to ease their foot on the accelerator. While they did not slam on the brakes, they slowed down as a cautionary measure. In the United States and to a lesser extent in Canada, hiring plans have been generally put on hold and consumers pulled back on purchases. In Europe, retrenchment to reduce government debt brought recessions in the southern tier countries, while businesses in other euro zone areas have become more cautious as they wait to see how and if the challenges facing the currency union will be resolved. In Asia Pacific, the weakness of Western economies has slowed export activity and
GDP growth outlooks in most regional nations. The same has been true for Latin America where exports to the United States have lagged. While some nations in the developing world have managed to avoid slowdowns through stronger domestic demand, overall, the global economy lost steam as 2012 progressed.
Source : Cushman & Wakefield