The U.S. and British economies speeded up slightly in the third quarter but expansion in several other economies slowed, leaving OECD-area growth at 0.5 percent, the OECD said on Monday.
The latest provisional OECD data painted a picture of overall 1.4-percent growth over 12 months, but of faltering recovery stuck at 0.5 percent growth in the last two quarters.
Recovery of the eurozone and wider European Union economies slowed down from the second to third quarters, with the French and Italian economies shrinking, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said.
However, compared with output 12 months earlier in the third quarter of last year “growth for the OECD area accelerated to 1.4 percent compared with 1.0 percent in the second quarter,” the OECD said.
“Among the major seven (OECD) economies, Japan recorded the highest growth rate (2.6 percent) and Italy the biggest contraction (minus 1.9 percent), the organisation said.
The second-third quarter figures from the OECD, which is a policy forum for 34 advanced democracies, are broadly in line with recent data, notably from countries in Europe and from the European Commission.
The economies of the entire OECD area grew by 0.5 percent in the third quarter, the same figure as in the second quarter.
Growth of the U.S. economy increased by 0.7 percent from 0.6 percent in the second quarter and British growth picked up to 0.8 percent from 0.7 percent.
The Bank of England asserted last week that the recovery of the British economy was now firmly in place.
In Japan, expansion slowed sharply in the quarter with activity growing by 0.5 percent, down from 0.9 percent in the second quarter.
Output by the eurozone rose by 0.1 percent, and in the European Union by 0.2 percent, down from growth rates of 0.3 percent in the second quarter.
This latest data is in line with several recent signs that the eurozone’s recovery from crises is weak and fragile.
Growth in the eurozone powerhouse Germany slowed sharply to 0.3 percent from 0.7 percent in the second quarter.
The French economy slipped backwards, contracting by 0.1 percent having expanded by 0.5 percent in the second quarter.
Recent figures for France, coupled with recent critical comments about French economic policy from the European Commission and the OECD, and a credit downgrade by Standard and Poor’s, have focused attention on economic and social pressures on the French Socialist-Green coalition government.
The latest data showed that in Italy, activity shrank for the ninth quarter in a row “but with the pace of contraction slowing to 0.1 percent compared with 0.3 percent in the previous quarter,” the OECD said.