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The global economy is moving forward, but divergence between countries and regions reflects the uneven progress made toward recovery from the economic crisis, according to the OECD’s latest Economic Outlook. Historically high unemployment remains the most serious challenge facing governments.
Technological advances, less costly shipping and trade liberalisation have transformed the way in which companies make products and distribute them worldwide. Governments that become more open to trade and investment, and encourage innovation will help firms better integrate the global value chains that are driving growth in increasingly interconnected economies, according to new OECD research.
Provisional estimates show that quarterly gross domestic product (GDP) in the OECD area fell by 0.2% in the fourth quarter of 2012, after a 0.3% increase in the previous quarter. This is the first contraction of GDP in the OECD area since the very sharp decline in the first quarter of 2009 (minus 2.3%).
Composite leading indicators (CLIs), designed to anticipate turning points in economic activity relative to trend, continue to show improvement relative to late 2012 in most major economies.
Italy has made considerable progress in strengthening its public finances and adopting wide-ranging reforms to boost economic growth. The new government must build on past achievements and ensure that they are sustained and reinforced, says a new OECD report.
Consumer prices in the OECD area rose by 1.6% in the year to March 2013, compared with 1.8% in the year to February 2013. This slowdown in the annual rate of inflation mainly reflects slower growth in food and especially in energy prices.
Japan is poised for an economic expansion, but long-term growth prospects remain contingent on additional efforts to revitalise the economy and reduce unsustainable levels of public debt, according to the OECD’s latest Economic Survey of Japan.
Composite leading indicators (CLIs), designed to anticipate turning-points in economic activity relative to trend, point to growth picking up in most major economies.
Real GDP in the OECD area fell 0.1% in the fourth quarter of 2012, compared with growth of 0.3% in the third quarter. Destocking was the main driver, dragging down growth by 0.3 percentage point.
Consumer prices in the OECD area rose by 1.8% in the year to February 2013, compared with 1.7% in the year to January 2013. This slight increase in the annual rate of inflation masks opposing movements in energy and food prices.