There are more indications the worst of the global recession may be
over, but key economic officials from around the world are still
The latest upbeat assessment comes from the Paris-based
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which
said Thursday an economic recovery could come sooner and be stronger
than first thought.
The OECD analyzes economic data for 30 of
the world's leading industrialized countries and says economic growth
for the top industrialized nations - the United States, Britain,
Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan, also known as the Group of
Seven - will contract just 3.7 percent this year - less than the
4.1-percent drop it forecast in June.
Still, OECD officials warn
rising unemployment and weak housing markets are still a threat, while
top officials in Europe and the United States are also urging caution.
Central Bank (ECB) President Jean-Claude Trichet said Thursday the
bank's benchmark interest rate would remain at a record-low one
percent, warning an economic recovery will be gradual and uneven.
Low interest rates make it easier for companies and consumers to get the loans they need to pay employees and buy goods.
Britain's Treasury chief, Alistair Darling, tells The Independent that
governments around the world must continue spending money on economic
Darling says the biggest risk to an economic
recovery "is that people think the job is done." He warns ending
stimulus programs now could plunge the global economy back into a deep
On Wednesday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy
Geithner said the global economy has been pulled back from the edge of
an "abyss" but that "we still have a long way to go."
Two new economic reports from Europe seem to support the idea of an uneven recovery.
European Union Thursday said retail sales in the 16 countries that use
the euro fell in July as consumers cut back on purchases of food,
drinks and tobacco.
A separate index (Markit's Purchasing
Managers' Index) found improved performance in the euro zone's
manufacturing and service sectors in August.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.