OECD sees global economy in low gear | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 25.11.2014
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OECD sees global economy in low gear

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has predicted the global economy and worldwide trade will expand only moderately in the near future. In its latest outlook, it voiced concerns about the eurozone.

The OECD's Economic Outlook, released on Tuesday, said there would be only a moderate expansion of global output in the next two years as large risks and vulnerabilities persisted.

The organization forecast global growth to come in at 3.25 percent this year, followed by a 3.75 percent rise next year and just under 4 percent in 2016.

Economies in OECD member countries would continue to be supported by accommodative monetary policies and slow improvements on labor markets.

The report noted the speed of recovery from the global financial crisis remained unimpressive, but singled out the US and Britain where shrewd policy action had led to above-average growth incentives.

Excessive austerity?

By contrast, the OECD survey was highly critical of the reform process in the 18-member eurozone, saying the single-currency area was grinding to a standstill and posed a major risk to world growth in the years ahead as unemployment remained stubbornly high and inflation persistently far from target.

The OECD urged eurozone nations to invest more in education and infrastructure, also advising them to ease the pace of deficit reduction so as not to stifle growth.

"Renewed fiscal austerity could downshift the pace of recovery rather than help it," Chief Economist Catherine Mann said in an editorial.

The OECD expected Japan's economy to pick up, following a decision to postpone another sales tax hike and expand quantitative easing until further notice.

It also mentioned that India and China remained the fastest growing major economies while other emerging nations struggled to advance. The organization added Russia was in go-slow mode, seeing its economy dragged down by Western sanctions and low oil prices.

hg/cjc (Reuters, dpa, AFP)

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