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OECD Warns of Worst Recession in More Than Two Decades

A leading international economics organization warns many of the world's major economies could soon suffer the worst recession since the early 1980s.

The Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is forecasting declines in the United States, Europe and Japan.

The organization's chief economist, Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel, also says the number of unemployed across OECD member economies may rise by eight million.

Meanwhile, the World Bank says it expects China's economic growth will slow next year to its lowest rate in nearly two decades.

The bank Tuesday cut its 2009 growth forecast for China to 7.5 percent because of the global financial crisis, nearly two points lower than the expected rate for this year.

World Bank economist Louis Kuijs says China's downturn will worsen in the first half of next year because of weakening export demand.

China has already announced plans for a multibillion dollar stimulus plan to boost its economy. The plan calls for spending on construction, tax cuts and aid to the poor and farmers.

On Monday, Britain announced its own economic stimulus package to combat the effects of the financial crisis there, while the United States said it could take more measures to repair its shattered financial system.

Britain's finance minister said the country's economy could shrink by as much as 1.25 percent next year, and expand nearly 2 percent in 2010.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.