This excerpt taken from the DT 6-K filed Mar 18, 2005.
Global economy grows dynamically in 2004. The upturn in the global economy continued in the course of 2004, with all the worlds regions contributing to economic growth. However, the expansion was depressed by the tailing off of economic policy initiatives and rocketing oil prices. Given this environment, economic growth in the United States continued to be driven by high consumer and investment demand. The emerging economies in Asia also developed positively, as did Japan and the United Kingdom. The economic development in these regions was driven by strong export and domestic demand. The euro zone also profited from the global economic upturn and continued to recover.
According to estimates by the Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Institute for World Economics), the United States and the United Kingdom increased their real gross domestic product (GDP; the value of all products and services generated within a country) by 4.4 percent and 3.2 percent respectively. By contrast, development in the euro zone economies was weaker, with growth of 1.8 percent. The new member states of the European Union continued to show high economic growth, recording real GDP growth of 4.9 percent.
The exchange rates of major currencies were again subject to strong fluctuations in 2004. The U.S. dollar lost ground against the euro and the Japanese yen, particularly in the second half of the year. If this exchange rate trend continues to intensify, it could impede an upturn in the economies whose currencies are appreciating.