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Top economies signal recession may be easing: OECD

Leading economies are showing fragile signs that the economic crisis driving recession in many countries may be easing or have reached a low point, the OECD said on Monday on the basis of April data.


But the damaging effects of the global crisis are still worsening in many emerging economies, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said.

The OECD said that although it was too soon to say if data for leading industrialised countries marked “a temporary or a more durable turning point,” its index of leading indicators showed that the dire winds of contraction were easing.

The latest monthly figures, for April, “point to a reduced pace of deterioration in most of the OECD economies with stronger signals of a possible trough in Canada, France, Italy and the United Kingdon,” the OECD said.

Compared with data for the previous month “positive signals are also emerging in Germany, Japan and the United States.”

This data for April appears to run parallel with signals from many leading stock markets that have rallied strongly since the first week of March.

But the OECD warned that countries outside the 30-member OECD group “still face deteriorating conditions, with the exception of China and India, where tentative signs of a trough have also emerged.”

The measure of composite leading indicators (CLI), which track such factors as production activity, showed that the CLI for the overall OECD area rose by half a point in April but was 8.3 points lower than in April 2008.

The indicator for the United States rose by 0.2 points in April but was 10.8 points below the level 12 months earlier. The CLI for the eurozone rose by 0.8 points in the month but was down 6.3 points over 12 months, and the figure for Japan was up 0.1 points in the month

and down 11.9 points over 12 months. The figure for Germany rose by 0.1 points in April and fell 13.4 points over 12 months.

Outside the OECD area, the figure for China rose by 0.9 points in April but was 8.3 points down over 12 months.