OECD area records 0.4% GDP growth in first quarter of 2012

25 May 12
The gross domestic product of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development group of countries grew by 0.4% in the first quarter of 2012, up from 0.3% in the previous quarter.

By Nick Mann | 25 May 2012

The gross domestic product of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development group of countries grew by 0.4% in the first quarter of 2012, up from 0.3% in the previous quarter.

Provisional figures published by the OECD today reveal a particularly strong performance by Japan, where the economy grew by an estimated 1% in the first three months of the year. Both Germany and the US recorded 0.5% growth in the same period.

But the aggregate performance of the group of developed nations was dragged down by continued weak performance in Europe, with the eurozone and European Union as a whole both recording no change in GDP.

While this represents an improvement from the 0.3% contraction they each experienced in the previous quarter, it compares less favourably with the 0.6% and 0.7% growth figures recorded by the EU and eurozone respectively in the first quarter of 2011.

Italy was the worst performing of the ‘major seven’ economies within the OECD, with its -0.8% figure representing the third consecutive quarter of contraction. The UK economy shrank by 0.3%, its second consecutive quarter of contraction.

Earlier this week, the OECD forecast aggregate growth of 1.6% for its member nations this year, but warned that the worsening eurozone crisis had the potential to damage the global economic recovery.

In a report published yesterday in conjunction with the World Bank, the OECD called for socially inclusive growth, with a focus on creating jobs for both high- and low-skilled workers.

Promoting inclusive growth: challenges and policies also advocated investment in green growth that provides support for education, skills and poverty reduction.

Regional development policy should be used to ensure the benefits of growth are distributed more evenly across nations, it said, while budgetary revenues – particularly from the exploitation of natural resources – should be distributed fairly across regions.

Pier Carlo Padoan, OECD chief economist, said: ‘Strong growth is not necessarily inclusive, in that all members of society usually don’t benefit to the same degree.

‘The challenge facing governments in the age of Occupy Wall Street is to do more to ensure that economic growth leads to positive change in living standards and well-being across all social groups.’

Did you enjoy this article?

Related articles

Have your say

Newsletter

CIPFA latest

Most popular

Related jobs

Most commented

Events & webinars