The global economy will expand in 2012. But depending on where you are, it may not feel like it.

The growth will be selective, so while some countries enjoy good times others will suffer severe recessions, says BNY Mellon in its latest economic update.

According to the report, global real GDP growth is expected to be about 3% in 2012, down from about 3.7% in 2011 and about 5% in 2010.

The firm forecasts “a severe recession” throughout 2012 in the Southern eurozone, while the Northern eurozone and the U.K. endure a moderate recession in early 2012.

Emerging countries will see a “somewhat slower pace of expansion” and the U.S. will be near its long-term trend of about 2.5% growth, says BNY Mellon’s chief economist Richard B. Hoey in the report.

Commenting on the prospects for the U.S. economy, Hoey noted that unlike many other countries, growth will be higher in 2012 than in 2011 partly because of “pent-up demand in a number of key domestic cyclical sectors,” including auto and housing.

Hoey expects the global economy to avoid a full-scale recession, thanks to monetary easing in many countries, including the U.S., the U.K. and more recently Europe and emerging market countries, which switched from tightening monetary policy in 2011 to easing in 2012.

The outlook for the global economy, however, hinges on a variety of longer-term secular factors, including how the “debt hangover” from the credit boom is handled, according to the report. Whether “the deleveraging process is orderly or disorderly” will impact the global economic outlook, Hoey says.

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