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GDP Stabilizes in Most Major Economies
Thursday, 20 August 2009 00:00

Decline in 30-member OECD area stabilizes near zero.

Gross Domestic Product in the 30 member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development stabilized during the second quarter of 2009, dropping by a mere 0.002 percent, following a fall of 2.1 percent in the previous quarter, the OECD said. In the "Major Seven" countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States), GDP fell marginally, by only 0.1 percent from the previous quarter.

However, there was a considerable variation among the Major Seven during the second quarter, ranging from a 0.9 percent increase in Japan, following two quarters of significant declines (minus 3.1 percent and minus 3.5 percent), to a 0.8 percent decline in the United Kingdom. Both France and Germany recorded positive growth of 0.3 percent during the second quarter compared with declines of 1.3 percent and 3.5 percent respectively in the first quarter.

In the United States, GDP fell by 0.3 percent, following a drop of 1.6 percent in the previous quarter.

GDP dropped by 0.1 percent following a decline of 2.5 percent in the euro area, comprised of the following 13 OECD member countries: Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovak Republic and Spain, plus three that are not members of the OECD: Cyprus, Malta and Slovenia.

It dropped 0.3 percent in the European Union, following a decline of 2.4 percent in the previous quarter of 2009.

However, all of the Major Seven economies continued to register declines in GDP, on a year-on-year basis, compared with the second quarter in 2008. This ranged from minus 2.6 percent in France to minus 6.5 percent in Japan. For the OECD area, GDP fell 4.6 percent between the second quarter of 2008 and the second quarter of 2009.

The 30 OECD member countries are: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States.

Journal of Commerce, 8/20/2009