Business World

Saturday 24 March 2018

World's largest economies see their growth slow for fourth quarter in row


Peter Flanagan

THE leading world economies slowed again in the last quarter, new statistics show.

Data from the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) showed that growth in its 34 member countries declined to an average of only 0.2pc during the period from April to June.

That was the fourth consecutive decline in economic growth for the OECD, after registering a 0.3pc expansion in the first three months of the year and added to concerns about the state of the world economy.

Compared with a year earlier, OECD economies grew 1.6pc in the second quarter, down sharply from 2.4pc in the first, the Paris-based organisation said.

"The slowdown was particularly marked in the euro area and the European Union, where growth slowed to 0.2pc compared to 0.8pc in the first quarter," the OECD said.


Germany slowed to 0.3pc in the second quarter from 1.3pc in the first and France stalled at zero growth after 0.9pc in Q1. Britain slowed to 0.2pc from 0.5pc.

However, the US picked up to 0.3pc from 0.1pc in the previous quarter while Japan contracted 0.3pc in the second quarter after a contraction of 0.9pc in the three months to March, the OECD said.

In the US, however, latest estimates for the first quarter reflect a significant downward revision from the earlier estimates of 0.5pc released in June, the agency added.

The poor growth figure leaves the rate of economic expansion at its weakest since the second quarter of 2009, the organisation said.

The data are a compilation of national gross-domestic-product figures, adjusted by the OECD for seasonal and working-day effects where needed. The organisation uses an estimate for Canada because official data are not yet avail- able.

The OECD's members include the US, Japan, the UK, Canada, and most of the 17 eurozone nations including Ireland, Germany, France and Italy.

The BRIC countries of Brazil, China, India and Russia are not included, however.

Irish Independent

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