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OECD sees stable growth for major economies, weaker in euro zone

PARIS: Most major world economies are continuing to show stable growth momentum, but within the euro zone Germany and Italy are losing steam, the OECD said on Wednesday.

The figures from the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development added to a range of recent surveys which pointed to weakness in the euro area and came a day after the International Monetary Fund cut its global growth forecasts.

The OECD said its leading indicator covering 33 member countries was stable in August from the prior month at 100.4, above its long-term average of 100.

The indicator, which is designed to flag turning points in the economic cycle, suggested that the OECD area as a whole, as well as Canada and the United States individually, was experiencing “stable growth momentum.”

That stability was also anticipated for Brazil, Russia and China.

The indicator has been close to or at 100.50 since November 2013.

In the euro zone, however, signs point to weakening growth, with the indicator for Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, falling to 99.7 from 100.1 in July. Official data released on Tuesday showed German industrial output plunged in August at its steepest rate since the height of the financial crisis.

Signs were also emerging of a loss of growth momentum for Italy, the OECD said.

For non-euro zone Britain, the outlook continues to point to stable growth with the indicator falling slightly to 100.7 from 100.8 in July.

The OECD said that one-off factors might explain a fall in the indicator for Japan to 99.6 from 99.8. It said India was the only major economy whose indicator pointed to a rise in growth momentum, its indicator improving to 99.0 from 98.8. (Reuters)

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