US leads slowdown in OECD growth
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reported that real gross domestic product (GDP) growth among the OECD countries in the first quarter of 2015 slipped from 0.5% in the fourth quarter of 2014 to 0.3%. The slowdown was most significant in the United States, where real GDP growth rose by just 0.1%.
OECD membership includes 34 developed and emerging economies. Members besides the United States range in size from the United Kingdom to Slovenia. Mexico, Chile and Turkey are among the current emerging economies that are members of the OECD. China is not a member, and Russia’s application for membership is on hold.
The so-called Major Seven OECD economies — the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Canada, France and Japan — posted first-quarter growth of just 0.2%, compared with 0.7% in the prior quarter. Growth in the European Union was flat at 0.4%, and among the eurozone members 0.4%.
Year over year, total OECD growth was 1.9%, up from year-over-year growth of 1.8% in the fourth quarter. Growth among the Major Seven rang in at 1.7%. Compared with a year ago, Japan fared worst, down 1.4%, the only member of the Major Seven to show a drop in growth. Month over month, however, Japan posted a gain of 0.6%, tied with France for the best performance among the Major Seven countries.
Italy, which had posted yearly GDP contraction for 13 straight quarters, posted growth that was flat with a year ago. Year over year, the U.S. economy rose by 3%, the most of any of the Major Seven countries.
The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released its first estimate of U.S. first-quarter GDP growth in late April, a disappointing 0.2% in current dollars. Real GDP rose just 0.1%. The second estimate is due out on Friday. (Source: 24/7 Wall St.com)
improved from 0.3%