Merchandise trade growth increased in the major economies during the first quarter of 2013. Compared to the fourth quarter of 2012, the value of merchandise imports and exports for the total of G7 and BRICS countries increased by 1.3% and 2.8%, respectively.
A High Level Expert Group is to be set up to continue the work of the Stiglitz-Sen-Fitoussi Commission on Measuring Economic Performance and Social Progress.
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%).
The OECD unemployment rate decreased to 8.0% in March 2013, compared with 8.1% in the previous month. However, this small decline masks diverging patterns across countries.