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Economy in Brief

OECD Indicators Show Faltering Growth Prospects
by Robert Brusca May 14, 2008

The OECD composite leading indicators show abroad slowing in the OECD area. Only Japan is showing a rebound and that is because it had been much weaker in earlier months. The six month horizons on the bottom of the table shows the CLI trends in the six month periods that the OECD likes to look at them. Weakness and accelerating weakness is the predominate result on this basis of observation.

The chart shows that the depth of the slowdown in the various indicators is comparable to their respective lows in the last recession. Still the cycles are more out of phase at this time with Japan dropping early and already signaling that it may be headed for recovery- may be.

The Indicators are a stark reminder why the IMF has been urging the ECB to hold off in being more aggressive in its inflation fight. Already there is evidence of pending weakness that could help to damp existing inflation pressures.

OECD Trend-restored leading Indicators
Growth progression-SAAR
  3-Mos 6-Mos 12-Mos Yr-Ago
OECD -1.9% -1.7% -1.3% 1.3%
OECD 7 -3.8% -3.3% -2.2% 0.2%
OECD Europe -3.9% -2.3% -1.8% 1.5%
OECD Japan 3.2% 4.6% -1.8% -0.1%
OECD US -6.1% -5.7% -2.4% 0.1%
Six month readings at 6-Mo Intervals:
  Recent six 6-Mos Ago 12-Mos Ago 18-Mos Ago
OECD -1.7% -0.8% 2.3% 0.3%
OECD 7 -3.3% -1.2% 1.1% -0.6%
OECD Europe -2.3% -1.3% 1.2% 1.8%
OECD Japan 4.6% -7.7% -0.3% 0.0%
OECD US -5.7% 1.1% 1.5% -1.2%
Slowdowns indicated by BOLD RED
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