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OECD: Europe weighing on global economy

By ANGELA CHARLTON Published: November 28, 2012

The OECD cautioned that growth outside the OECD — which comprises 34 developed economies mostly in North America and Europe - would be slightly faster but crimped by Europe's troubles.

“A slowdown has surfaced in many emerging market economies, partly reflecting the impact of the recession in Europe,” said Pier Carlo Padoan, the OECD's chief economist.

The OECD also warned the U.S. and Europe against cutting spending too sharply and too quickly, saying that could further hurt growth prospects. It suggested that countries with stronger economies such as Germany and China could provide temporary fiscal stimulus to boost growth.

“Global prospects remain fragile, with strong downside risks, and are heavily dependent on the speed and decisiveness of policy actions,” it said.

Padoan expressed concern about the so-called fiscal cliff in the U.S., automatic tax increases and steep spending cuts that take effect in January unless President Barack Obama and Congress reach a budget agreement.

“If the fiscal cliff is not avoided, a large negative shock could bring the U.S. and the global economy into recession,” Padoan said.

The report argues for “measured” spending cuts and tax increases.

“Reducing the large federal budget deficit is necessary to restore fiscal sustainability, but this should be done gradually and in the context of a well-identified medium-term consolidation plan,” Padoan said.

The report warned that unemployment would continue to rise in the eurozone from 11.1 percent this year to 12 percent in 2014, but that the rate in the U.S. would gradually decline to 7.5 percent in 2014.

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