The world economy is currently fragile. The prospects are dampened both, by the current crisis in Iraq, leading to a rising oil price, and the sharp drop of equity prices. Since last spring, the economic expansion in the United States has lost momentum. Also in Asia, the previously buoyant output growth has decelerated again. The Euro Area is recovering from the slowdown of last year; the pace of the recovery, however, is very modest. Finally, in Japan GDP expanded only gradually.