Unit labour costs (ULCs) in OECD countries decreased by 0.1% in the first quarter of 2013, compared with a rise of 1.1% in the fourth quarter of 2012. This was driven by lower growth of labour compensation per unit of labour input (0.3% compared with 0.9% in the previous quarter), and increased labour productivity growth (0.4% compared with minus 0.2%).
Quarterly Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the G20 area grew by 0.7% in the first quarter of 2013 compared with 0.6% in the previous quarter, according to preliminary estimates. However, the aggregate G20 GDP growth rate continues to mask diverging patterns across the world’s largest economies.
Composite leading indicators (CLIs), designed to anticipate turning points in economic activity relative to trend, point to moderate improvements in growth in most major economies.
Consumer prices in the OECD area rose by 1.3% in the year to April 2013, the lowest annual inflation rate since October 2009. Energy prices fell to 1.3% in the year to April, compared with an increase of 0.9% in the year to March. On the other hand, annual food price inflation rose by 2.0% in April, up from 1.7% in March. Excluding food and energy, the OECD annual inflation rate slowed to 1.4% in April, compared with 1.6% in March.