Τhe release of good economic news since the beginning of the year suggests an improvement in the global economic environment. In the US, despite stronger short-term momentum late in 2011, our longer-term view includes a below-trend growth in 2012. After going through a mild recession around the turn of the year, the euro area economy is expected to gain some traction later in 2012. We believe that a permanent solution to the euro area debt crisis involves both fiscal discipline in the periphery members and fiscal solidarity from the economically stronger core countries. The main risks to our global growth outlook are related to a re-escalation of the sovereign debt tensions in the euro area and higher oil prices. Easier monetary conditions this year, compared to 2011, will support the global economy in 2012.