US leads slow­down in OECD growth

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

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)

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