World Economy

OECD Indicators Point to Eurozone Growth

OECD Indicators Point to Eurozone Growth OECD Indicators Point to Eurozone Growth

Economic growth is set to pick up in Italy, France and the eurozone, according to leading indicators released on Monday by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The Paris-based research body said its gauges of future economic activity – which are based on information available for January – also suggested growth in most of the world’s other large economies will remain at current rates over coming months.

India and Russia are the main exceptions, the former set for a pick-up, and the latter for a further slowdown.

The OECD’s composite leading indicators (CLIs) are designed to provide early signals of turning points between the expansion and slowdown of economic activity, and are based on a wide variety of data series that have a history of signaling changes in economic activity.

The leading indicators for the eurozone suggest growth will pick up in the early months of 2015, and are consistent with new forecasts released by the European Central Bank Thursday, which projected an acceleration in growth this year.

The ECB boosted its eurozone forecasts from three months ago, saying it now expects 1.5 percent growth this year, 1.9 percent in 2016, and 2.1 percent in 2017. It previously had predicted the currency bloc’s economy would grow 1 percent in 2015 and 1.5 percent in 2016.

The ECB Monday launches its program of government bond purchases, known as quantitative easing. The central bank intends to buy more than one trillion euros of bonds by September 2016, and has said it may increase the program if inflation isn’t on track to reach its target of just under 2 percent.

The OECD’s composite leading indicator for its 34 members rose to 100.4 in January from a revised 100.3 in December. The leading indicator for the US was unchanged at 100.2. A reading of 100.0 indicates an economy will grow at its trend rate of growth, or the average over recent decades.

The leading indicator for the eurozone rose to 100.7 from 100.6, while the indicator for Italy rose to 101.2 from 101.0 and the indicator for France rose to 100.6 from 100.5.

“The outlook for Italy and France has improved, with the CLIs now showing tentative signs of a positive change in momentum,” the OECD said.