World economy accelerating

World economy accelerating

PARIS – Global economic growth has gained speed in the last few months and inflation remains under control despite high world oil prices, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said on Tuesday.

In a twice-yearly report, the Paris-based OECD said that the European Central Bank should not raise interest rates until late next year to avoid smothering a nascent recovery, stressing that it saw no evidence or prospect of inflation spreading. The OECD forecast 2,9 per cent growth in 2006 and 2007 after 2,7 per cent this year across its 30 member countries as a whole, with the US economy steaming ahead at 3,5 per cent next year and 3,3 per cent the year after, following 3,6 this year.Japanese growth is expected to ease off a bit to two per cent next year and the year after, from 2,4 per cent this year, and the OECD predicted an acceleration in the 12-nation euro zone to growth of 2,1 per cent next year, after just 1,4 per cent in 2005.”All in all, global growth has been exceptionally vigorous, fuelling large price increases in oil and commodities markets,” the OECD said.It sees world trade picking up to 9,1 per cent next year and 9,2 per cent in 2007, after 7,3 per cent in 2005 – bringing it back closer to the heady 10 per cent rate of 2004.The OECD said oil prices and other imbalances such as the US current account deficit continued to pose risks to the global economy but that the doubling of oil prices since 2003 had done less damage than one might have first imagined.It predicted a few more anti-inflationary rate rises by the US Federal Reserve before a “plateau” in its key rate next March at 4,75 per cent, while it also said it believed Japan could start tightening monetary policy for the first time in years in 2007.The OECD’s main concern was clearly closer to headquarters in Europe, where the ECB has said it will raise interest rates and is expected by financial markets to do so today at a meeting of the governing council of the euro-zone central bank.The OECD report suggested that the ECB should proceed more in the fashion of the US Fed, implementing a gradual series of rate rises worth as much as 1,25 percentage points in all, but starting next September or October when economic recovery can be expected to have taken deeper root.The OECD said a further oil price acceleration could upset what was a broadly encouraging outlook for the global economy, but that it was for now expecting a modest decline to around US$51 a barrel by end-2007 from around US$58 in fourth-quarter 2005.According to OECD estimates, the surge in oil prices over the past two years took US$350 billion out of the mainly oil-importing economies of the OECD and transferred it to oil-producer states, but much of that money was supporting world growth as demand from the Middle East rose accordingly, the report said.Others risks included a US external deficit which absorbs the bulk of the aggregate current account surpluses in the world and is projected to rise further to a record seven per cent of GDP, or 1,5 per cent of world GDP) in 2007.Beyond its membership, the OECD said it expected China to keep producing growth rates of nine per cent a year or more and it said it expected slowing in Russia, where it described plans to cut value-added-tax as particularly ill-advised.- Nampa-ReutersThe OECD forecast 2,9 per cent growth in 2006 and 2007 after 2,7 per cent this year across its 30 member countries as a whole, with the US economy steaming ahead at 3,5 per cent next year and 3,3 per cent the year after, following 3,6 this year.Japanese growth is expected to ease off a bit to two per cent next year and the year after, from 2,4 per cent this year, and the OECD predicted an acceleration in the 12-nation euro zone to growth of 2,1 per cent next year, after just 1,4 per cent in 2005.”All in all, global growth has been exceptionally vigorous, fuelling large price increases in oil and commodities markets,” the OECD said.It sees world trade picking up to 9,1 per cent next year and 9,2 per cent in 2007, after 7,3 per cent in 2005 – bringing it back closer to the heady 10 per cent rate of 2004.The OECD said oil prices and other imbalances such as the US current account deficit continued to pose risks to the global economy but that the doubling of oil prices since 2003 had done less damage than one might have first imagined.It predicted a few more anti-inflationary rate rises by the US Federal Reserve before a “plateau” in its key rate next March at 4,75 per cent, while it also said it believed Japan could start tightening monetary policy for the first time in years in 2007.The OECD’s main concern was clearly closer to headquarters in Europe, where the ECB has said it will raise interest rates and is expected by financial markets to do so today at a meeting of the governing council of the euro-zone central bank.The OECD report suggested that the ECB should proceed more in the fashion of the US Fed, implementing a gradual series of rate rises worth as much as 1,25 percentage points in all, but starting next September or October when economic recovery can be expected to have taken deeper root.The OECD said a further oil price acceleration could upset what was a broadly encouraging outlook for the global economy, but that it was for now expecting a modest decline to around US$51 a barrel by end-2007 from around US$58 in fourth-quarter 2005.According to OECD estimates, the surge in oil prices over the past two years took US$350 billion out of the mainly oil-importing economies of the OECD and transferred it to oil-producer states, but much of that money was supporting world growth as demand from the Middle East rose accordingly, the report said.Others risks included a US external deficit which absorbs the bulk of the aggregate current account surpluses in the world and is projected to rise further to a record seven per cent of GDP, or 1,5 per cent of world GDP) in 2007.Beyond its membership, the OECD said it expected China to keep producing growth rates of nine per cent a year or more and it said it expected slowing in Russia, where it described plans to cut value-added-tax as particularly ill-advised.- Nampa-Reuters

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