Advanced economies retreat in last quarter
PARIS (AFP) – The economies of advanced countries shrank in the final quarter of last year, giving a twist to broad slowdown in 2012, data from the OECD showed on Tuesday.
And in the whole of 2012, OECD economies grew by 1.3 per cent from the level in 2011, when output had expanded by 1.9 per cent.
Overall, the economies of OECD countries shrank by 0.2 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year after a rise of 0.3 per cent in the third quarter.
The economy of the United States slowed down to about zero growth in the fourth quarter from growth of 0.8 per cent in the third quarter.
On a 12-month comparison, the OECD economies grew by 0.7 per cent, a sharp slowdown from growth of 1.2 per cent in the third quarter.
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, which groups 34 advanced countries, said that the contraction in the last quarter, from output in the previous quarter, was the first since a sharp reversal of 2.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2009.
Output by the 27 members of the European Union shrank by 0.5 per cent, the OECD said, highlighting contraction of 0.6 per cent in Germany, the first since early in 2009.
The economies of Britain and France shrank by 0.3 per cent, a reversal from growth of 0.9 per cent in Britain in the third quarter of and 1.0 per cent in France.
The Italian economy continued shrinking for the sixth quarter in a row, by 0.9 per cent, the biggest setback since the first quarter of 2009.
In the third quarter Japan had shown the sharpest slowdown of the top seven countries and in the fourth quarter it shrank by less, by 1.0 per cent.