OECD Sees Slowdown Ahead In Economic Expansion

By Agence France-Presse The (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) OECD predicted a slowdown in economic momentum in the world's major industrialized countries as its six-month composite index of leading indicators weakened again in August. The OECD said the six-month rate of change in its composite index fell in August in all of the Group of Seven industrialized countries for the seventh straight month. The Group of Seven comprises Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States. While the six-month rate of change, which looks ahead to possible peaks or troughs in the economy, declined in August, the OECD's composite leading indicators (CLI) showed a 0.1 gain in the month to 103.8 from 103.7 in July. In the United States the index also increased by 0.1 points in August but the six-month rate of change fell for the eighth month in a row. In the eurozone the monthly figure rose by 0.1 points while the six-month rate fell for the ninth consecutive month. Japan's composite leading indicators were up 0.1 points in August, but the OECD said its six-month rate of change has been declining since February 2004. "The six-month rate of change is less volatile and provides earlier and clearer signals for future turning points than the [composite index] itself," the OECD said. "In practice, peaks in GDP have been found nine months after the signals of peaks had been detected in the six-month rate of change." Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2004

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