Economic and Sector Development

Global economy slumps in 2020 due to coronavirus pandemic1

The global economy slipped into a recession in 2020, with global gross domestic product (GDP) contracting 4.3%. Despite recent progress in the development of effective vaccines, the spread of the coronavirus continued to overwhelm policy makers and health care systems alike. Far-reaching lockdown measures and other restrictions to slow the spread of the virus led to a contraction in output, consumption, and trade. Developed economies declined 5.4% in 2020 mainly driven by sharp declines in the demand and supply of services, despite unprecedented fiscal and monetary policy accommodation. Developing economies in aggregate were down 2.6% amid a slump in private consumption and retail sales. Furthermore, consumer confidence plummeted amid falling labor incomes and rising unemployment rates. Across the globe, risks of re-escalating trade tensions and a delay in the pandemic recovery remain.

Sporting goods industry negatively impacted in 2020

The global sporting goods industry was adversely affected by lockdown and quarantine measures across many parts of the world for the majority of 2020. Demand for sporting goods was pressured amid disturbed consumer purchasing behavior due to the drop in economic activity, cancellations of major sports events and physical stores partially closed. Even as stores re-opened, traffic rates remained below prior year levels due to necessary hygiene and safety measures. These adverse impacts were partially compensated by the acceleration of existing global trends such as increasing penetration of sportswear () as well as rising awareness for health and wellness. Moreover, purchasing behavior continued to shift toward online channels and sustainability remained a predominant theme. Ultimately, the evolution of digital platforms, such as social fitness or membership programs with seamless personal experiences, facilitated consumer dialogue and brand building in times of social distancing. For the sporting goods industry, too, risks of re-escalating trade tensions and a delay in the pandemic recovery remain.

1 Source: World Bank Global Economic Prospects.

Regional GDP development1, 2 in %

Regional GDP development (Barchart)

1 Real change in percent versus prior year; 2019 and 2018 figures restated compared to prior year.

2 Source: World Bank.

3 Includes Emerging Europe and Central Asia.

4 Includes East Asia and Pacific.


The term is composed of the words athletic and leisure. It describes a fashion trend of sportswear no longer being just meant for training but increasingly shaping everyday clothing.

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