In its twice-yearly report, the Paris-based OECD says economic weakness in some countries this year was disappointing but admitted it wasnt all their fault as oil prices had reduced real incomes and spending power. But it says the situation could get worse.
According to the OECD’s own forecasts, economic growth in Japan will almost drop by half in Japan in 2005 compared to this year.In the US growth will fall less steeply and the Eurozone will barely change.But 2004 was hardly a great year with an average of 1.8 percent. The OECD saves its good news for 2006. It thinks growth could pick up then. In the US much could depend on whether a low dollar encourages more exports and for how long oil stays at its current prices. In Europe, economic growth varied widely from country to country. In Italy and Germany it was barely more than one percent this year, while the UK was above 3 percent.In 2005 the OECD expects Spain to lead the pack with a rate of 2.7 percent.