PARIS, March 11 (Reuters) - The economic outlook in major
industrialised economies is improving with the United States and
Japan leading the way, the OECD said on Monday, adding that
activity in the euro zone was also picking up.
The figures come after news last week that the U.S. jobless
rate had fallen to a four-year low, offering a bright signal on
the health of the world's biggest economy.
The Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and
Development said its latest monthly leading indicator for the
OECD as a whole - covering 33 countries - was at its highest
level since June 2011.
The composite leading indicator rose to 100.4 from 100.3 in
December, which the think-tank said pointed to "firming growth".
It also brought the measure, which is designed to flag
turning points in economic activity, further above the long-term
average of 100.
The OECD says that the turning points in its indicators tend
to precede changes in economic activity by about six months.
The United States showed the strongest improvement with a
reading of 100.9, unchanged from December. The index for Japan
rose to 100.6 from 100.4.
The recession-hit euro zone also showed better signs with
its reading at its highest level since April, edging up to 99.7
from 99.6, led by regional powerhouse Germany. The index for
Germany rebounded to 99.6 from 99.2.
The OECD said the readings for Italy and France signalled
"no further declines in growth" with the Italian index rising to
99.3 from 99.2 while France inched up to 99.5 from 99.4.
Among the major emerging economies tracked by the OECD, the
reading for China pointed to "moderating growth" at 99.0 after
99.1 in December. India saw "growth slowing down", with a
reading of 97.2 after 97.3, the OECD said.