Business / Economy

OECD warns of flagging growth, urges world leaders to act

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-06-02 10:03

PARIS - The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on Wednesday called on world leaders to better coordinate and take further fiscal moves to avoid "a low-growth trap."

"Growth is flat in advanced economies and has slowed in many of the emerging economies that have been the global locomotive since the crisis. Slower productivity growth and rising inequality pose further challenges," said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria.

"Comprehensive policy action is urgently needed to ensure that we get off this disappointing growth path and propel our economies to levels that will safeguard living standards for all," he added.

In its economic outlook, the Paris-based international organization confirmed its forecast of 2016 global growth at 3 percent, the same economic performance of 2015, the slowest pace in the past five years.

Growth of the 34-country OECD area is set to grow by 1.8 percent in 2016 and by 2.1 percent next year, according to the report.

Among the major advanced economies, the OECD expected a moderate recovery in the United States with a 1.8-percent rise in 2016 and 2.2 percent in 2017.

As to the euro area, the OECD projected the single-currency block to "improve slowly" with the 2016 GDP growth set to stand at 1.6 percent, up by 0.2 percent from a previous estimate.

With rebalancing continuing in China, growth is expected to slow to 6.5 percent in 2016 and 6.2 percent in 2017 next year.

However, the OECD saw many emerging market economies continue to lose momentum with a persistent deep recession mainly in Brazil where economic activities will contract by 4.3 percent in 2016 and by 1.7 percent in 2017.

Noting the waning global economy and rising income inequality in many countries, the OECD recommended "more ambitious structural reforms" with major focus on services sector in order to bolster short-term demand and to reach a long-term improvement of labor markets.

"If we don't take action to boost productivity and potential growth, both younger and older generations will be worse off," said OECD chief economist Catherine L Mann.

"The longer the global economy remains in this low-growth trap, the harder it will be for governments to meet fundamental promises. The consequences of policy inaction will be low career prospects for today's youth and lower retirement income for future pensioners," she added.

During its annual ministerial meeting and forum, the OECD also warned that an eventual Brexit "would trigger negative economic effects on the UK, other European countries and the rest of the world".

By 2030, post-Brexit UK GDP could be over 5 percent lower than if the country remained in the European Union, it estimated.

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