The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) says the outlook for growth in the world's most developed economies has strengthened. The international economic research group says the United States and Japan will lead growth among advanced economies. But it says Europe will continue to lag.
New government data shows the U.S. economy expanded at a faster clip last year than earlier estimates.
And it's likely to perform better in 2013.
The OECD says the world's largest economy will post annualized growth of about three and a half percent in the first three months of 2013 - slowing to about 2 percent from April to June.
Japan follows closely behind - with 3.2 percent between January to March - and then 2.2 percent in the second quarter.
OECD Chief economist Pier Carlo Padoan released the group's latest forecast.
"It is an outlook which points at an improvement of the global economy especially in the United States and Japan, a bit less so in the euro area," said Padoan.
Although Europe has successfully addressed a number of imbalances caused by the region's debt crisis, Padoan says the outlook for the 17-nations that make up the eurozone remains mixed.
"Germany is growing at a healthy rate, above 2 percent, which is good news," he said. "But France, which is the second largest economy, will not be growing possibly at all in 2013, possibly start growing again in the latter part of this year. And Italy continues to be in recession although this recession is shrinking which means that Italy might see positive growth at the end of 2013."
A separate report by the Paris-based organization paints a more optimistic picture for China and emerging market economies. Despite a number of potential financial and environmental challenges in the coming years, the OECD expects China to grow between 8 and 9 percent this year.
At that pace, the group says China could overtake the United States to become the world's largest economy - as early as 2016.