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22 Feb, 2013

West in a Mess: OECD Data Shows GDP Fall of 0.2%


Paris, 20 Feb 2013 (OECD media release) – Provisional estimates show that quarterly gross domestic product (GDP) in the OECD area fell by 0.2% in the fourth quarter of 2012, after a 0.3% increase in the previous quarter. This is the first contraction of GDP in the OECD area since the very sharp decline in the first quarter of 2009 (minus 2.3%).

The contraction was particularly marked in the European Union, where GDP decreased by 0.5%. In Germany, GDP fell by 0.6%, the first GDP contraction since early 2009. In the United Kingdom and France, GDP decreased by 0.3%, against positive growth rates in the previous quarter (0.9% and 0.1%, respectively). In Italy, GDP contracted for the sixth consecutive quarter, showing the largest contraction (minus 0.9%) since the first quarter of 2009. In Japan, GDP decreased by 0.1%, significantly less than in the previous quarter when Japan recorded the highest slowdown among the Major Seven countries. In the United States, GDP growth strongly decelerated from 0.8% in the third quarter to roughly 0.0% in the fourth quarter.

Compared with the fourth quarter of 2011, GDP growth for the OECD area slowed to 0.7%, down from 1.2% in the third quarter. Among the Major Seven economies, the United States recorded the highest growth rate (1.5%) and Italy the largest contraction (minus 2.7%).

For 2012 as a whole, GDP expanded by 1.3% in the OECD area, compared with 1.9% in 2011.

Download the full release with charts by clicking here: OECD GDP contracted by 0.2% in the fourth quarter of 2012