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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.
The OECD area employment rate – defined as the share of people of working-age who are employed – was 65.1% in the fourth quarter of 2012, 0.1 percentage point higher than in the previous quarter and 0.2 percentage points higher than one year ago.
The OECD unemployment rate decreased to 8.0% in February 2013, compared with 8.1% in the previous month. The unemployment rate in the euro area was stable (at 12.0%) in February, but still 1.1 percentage point higher than its mid-90’s peak.
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.