OECD survey suggests boost for economy
Monday 12 March 2012
Hopes that the UK might dodge another recession were boosted
today as an influential forecaster revealed a positive shift in economic
activity at the start of the year.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said its composite leading indicators, a survey designed to anticipate turning points in the economic cycle, had signified stronger but tentative signals of improvement.
The Paris-based organisation, which works to improve social and economic wellbeing across the world, said it had seen a positive change in momentum in all major countries with the global position driven by growth in the US and Japan.
The UK economy contracted by 0.2% in the final three months of 2011 but industrial surveys have suggested a slight pick up in activity in January and this OECD survey will add to cautious optimism around the country's growth prospects for 2012.
Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist at IHS Global Insight, said: "The OECD leading indicator had previously declined for 10 successive months, so the improving trend seen at the end of 2011 and start of 2012 boosts hopes that the UK can return to growth in the first quarter and avoid recession."
Mr Archer said the survey gave support to his forecast for 0.3% growth in the first three months of 2012. The official figures will be published next month.
Retail sales and purchasing managers surveys for manufacturing, services and construction have all been robust so far this year, while the Bank of England acknowledged the slight pick-up at the start of the year in its last quarterly report.
But Mr Archer said the economy still faces "serious domestic and international headwinds" including squeezed consumer purchasing power, rising unemployment and the threat posed by the problems in the eurozone.
However, the OECD did record a slowdown in China which may raise fears of a global slowdown as the resource-hungry country's rampant growth comes off the boil.
- 1 Woman falls to her death as she celebrates marriage proposal at the edge of Ibiza cliff
- 2 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 4 Dad attempts revenge on teenage daughter, plan backfires spectacularly
- 5 Ball pool for adults opens in London
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
King Abdullah dead: We can't afford not to hold Saudi Arabia's royals to account
iJobs Money & Business
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Marke...
£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established ...
£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...