The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has warned of a temporary slowdown in economic growth in the world’s richest countries – the so-called G7 – during the first three months of this year. It said Europe would be the worst performer.
Because of a slump in construction activity, the forecast for Germany, the biggest European economy, is for a fall in the first quarter.
It will have shrunk 0.4 percent, compared with a 2.3 percent rise in France, growth of 1.2 two percent in Italy and two percent in Britain.
The OECD’s forecasts for the second quarter of 2010 are mostly better, except for Italy.
It said the slowdown is because some government stimulus programmes are ending as the recovery and job markets remain fragile.
And it said Europe’s most immediate challenge is to reduce post-recession debt.