In 2014, the global recovery stumbled over a series of unforeseen events. Bad weather paralysed the US economy in the first quarter. Seasonal and calendar anomalies contributed to the stagnation in the European economy in the second quarter. Demand in Japan - which was artificially inflated ahead of the fiscal shock - suddenly contracted in the spring in reaction to the VAT increase. Lastly, confidence deteriorated because of geopolitical shocks (Russia, Middle East).