The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) sees Germany in the forefront of a global economic recovery next to Japan and the US. But other eurozone states are bound to fall further behind, it says.
The German economy was expected to bounce back strongly in 2013 after a minor contraction in the final quarter of 2012, the OECD said in a report released Thursday.
In an interim assessment focusing on the seven most industrialized countries (G7), the OECD predicted a rate of expansion of 0.6 percent for Germany in the first quarter alone. The second quarter would add growth of 0.7 percent, said the OECD forecast, which was likely to drive overall output of Europe's largest economy to between 2.3 and 2.6 percent in 2013.
The OECD noted a widening economic gap between Germany and other members of the 17-nation eurozone. In most countries with the euro currency, output was expected to increase only slightly or even shrink in the course of the year.
The French economy, for example, was set to contract by a further 0.2 percent in the first quarter, after shrinking 0.3 percent at the end of 2012, and would not return to minimal growth of 0.1 percent before the end of June, the OECD said.
The Paris-based organization also said it saw progress in overcoming the eurozone debt crisis. However, it recommended that some members should be allowed more time to meet their deficit targets to be able to temper the impact of austerity on their economies.
On a global scale, the OECD forecast economic growth to accelerate in the first half of 2013, driven mainly by the recoveries in Japan and the United States. However, emerging economies were tipped to remain by far the strongest growth performers with China expected to expand by well more than 8.0 percent in 2013.
uhe/hc (AP, AFP, dpa)