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Press release from Business Wire

D&B Five-year Outlook Sees Uneven Growth with Several Downside Risks

<p class='bwalignc'> <i>Global Economy Healing Slowly Through 2017</i><b><br/></b> </p>

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

D&B Five-year Outlook Sees Uneven Growth with Several Downside Risks

08:15 EDT Tuesday, April 09, 2013

SHORT HILLS, N.J. (Business Wire) -- D&B (NYSE: DNB), the world's leading source of commercial information and insight on businesses, today published its five-year forecast of the global economy, predicting continued but sluggish growth against challenging headwinds, differing from region to region.

D&B's Global Economic Outlook to 2017, based on a comprehensive study and analysis of its proprietary business data and external data sources, provides insights on several contributing factors to real GDP growth for more 132 countries, representing seven major geographic areas. These assessments are based on D&B's proprietary risk ratings which evaluate a number of factors including short- and long- term economic growth potential, global competitiveness and policy and sovereign debt risk.

“The recovery from the 2008-2009 recession represents the slowest and most problematic during the post-war era. We believe economic growth will remain uneven across regions and time as structural and fiscal imbalances, new political risks and other headwinds result in a global economy predicted to achieve annual real-GDP growth of only 2.9 percent by the end of 2017,” said Paul Ballew, Global Chief Data and Analytic Officer, D&B. “On the flip side, these pressures are partly offset by substantial improvement in corporate sector health.”

“The dramatic increase in public sector debt since 2008 has resulted in an important inflection point for most developed economies,” said Ballew. “As a result, fiscal austerity will have to increase through spending restraint, and higher tax levels will occur over the next few years as governments attempt to balance their books. That, in turn, will limit growth in economies such as the United States, where private sector restructuring has begun.”

Where We Are Today

U.S. economy continues to move slowly toward recovery.

  • Concerns over a double-dip recession are unfounded despite the fiscal policy challenges. The significant improvement in the health of the corporate sector in combination with moderate consumer spending growth are offsetting austerity that will be required at all levels of government. Growth remains constrained but the recovery continues to gradually gain momentum.

The outlook for European economies remains troubling.

  • The immediate crisis in the Eurozone has subsided, but the underlying challenges in the region remain substantial. While attention remains focused on fiscal and monetary policy D&B remains concerned about the competitiveness of European economies and the ability of their business sector to offset fiscal restraint. The outlook for the region remains unsettled with substantial downside risk given policy uncertainty.

In 2012, three years into the recovery, D&B downgraded 32 countries in its country risk analysis—the third highest number of downgrades in one calendar year—while only upgrading seven.

  • Risk ratings for 56 of the 132 countries are worse than in October 2009 when the recovery started, while only 23 are better.

Where We Are Going: 2013 to 2017

“After the 2012 slowdown, global economic growth is expected to pick up gradually through 2017, but below trend until the middle to latter stages of the decade,” said Ballew. “Nevertheless, we expect it to be lower than in the five years prior to 2008 as several concerns still weigh heavily on these forecasts.”

Despite cautious optimism, a number of risks remain, namely:

  • High levels of debt, particularly in the public sector;
  • Unintended consequences of unprecedented monetary easing policies;
  • Political risks associated with the transformation of countries to new governmental systems (e.g., Arab Spring).

For a copy of D&B's Global Economic Outlook to 2017, please http://www.dnb.com/lc/credit-education/global-outlook-to-2017.html#.UVRiy1f4J8E. For more information on D&B's Country Risk Services Team and their research, please contact countryrisk@dnb.com.

About Dun & Bradstreet® (D&B)

Dun & Bradstreet (NYSE:DNB) is the world's leading source of commercial information and insight on businesses, enabling companies to Decide with Confidence® for 171 years. D&B's global commercial database contains more than 220 million business records. The database is enhanced by D&B's proprietary DUNSRight® Quality Process, which provides our customers with quality business information. This quality information is the foundation of our global solutions that customers rely on to make critical business decisions.

D&B provides two solution sets that meet a diverse set of customer needs globally. Customers use D&B Risk Management Solutions™ to mitigate credit and supplier risk, increase cash flow and drive increased profitability; and D&B Sales & Marketing Solutions™ to provide data management capabilities that provide effective and cost efficient marketing solutions and to convert prospects into clients by enabling business professionals to research companies, executives and industries.

For more information, please visit www.dnb.com.

Dun & Bradstreet
Media:
Patricia Colpitts, 512-578-8016
colpittsp@dnb.com
or
Investor Relations:
Roger Sachs, CFA, 973-921-5914
sachsr@DNB.com

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