PARIS: According to preliminary estimates from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, growth in the OECD area rose by 0.5% in the fourth quarter of 2007, down from 0.9% in the previous quarter.

The OECD, whose membership comprises thirty nations*, brings together the governments of countries committed to democracy and the market economy. Their common aim is to:

  •  Support sustainable economic growth
  •  Boost employment
  •  Raise living standards
  •  Maintain financial stability
  •  Assist other countries' economic development
  •  Contribute to growth in world trade.

During Q4 GDP in the United States grew by 0.2%, considerably less than the 1.2% growth recorded in the previous quarter.

Japan's GDP rose by 0.9%, somewhat higher than in the previous quarter; while GDP in the euro area rose by 0.4%, down from 0.8% in Q3.

Annual growth (Q4 2007 versus Q4 2006) was highest in the United Kingdom (2.9%) and lowest in Germany and Japan (1.8%). In the major seven countries (USA, Japan, Western Germany, France, Italy, UK and Canada) the annual growth rate was lower than in the previous quarter.

The United States contributed 0.9 percentage points to the OECD's year-on-year growth of 2.6% between Q4 2006 and Q4 2007. Japan contributed 0.2, the euro area (twelve countries) 0.6, and the remaining countries 0.9 percentage points.

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

Data sourced from OECD; additional content by WARC staff