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The OECD area unemployment rate dropped to 8.1% in April, a 0.1 percentage point fall from March after two months of stability at 8.2%. This is a continuation of the steady decline in the unemployment rate seen since October 2010. The Euro area unemployment rate was stable at 9.9%.
Composite leading indicators (CLIs) designed to anticipate turning points in economic activity relative to trend, point to a mild loss of growth momentum in most major economies for April 2011.
Merchandise trade continued to grow strongly across major economies in the first quarter of 2011. Total imports of G7 and BRICS countries grew by 11% in the first quarter compared to 8.2% in the previous quarter.
Gross domestic product (GDP) in the OECD area continued to grow at a rate of 0.5% in the first quarter of 2011 despite a continued contraction in Japan and slower growth in the United States as growth in most major European economies and Canada accelerated strongly.
Consumer prices in the OECD area rose by 2.9% in the year to April 2011, compared with 2.7% in March - the highest rate since October 2008.