The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) yesterday announced that its provisional estimates show that quarterly gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the OECD area decelerated sharply to 0.1% in the fourth quarter of 2011, which compares to 0.6% growth in the third quarter.
But OECD notes that the total masks diverging patterns. It elaborates, "In the United States, GDP growth accelerated to 0.7% in the fourth quarter of 2011, compared with 0.5% in the third quarter, while in Japan GDP declined by 0.6% following the strong technical rebound (1.7%) in the third quarter. In the Euro area and the European Union, GDP also fell, by 0.3%, for the first time since the second quarter of 2009."
Taking a closer look at Europe, OECD notes GDP fell in all of its major economies. OECD explains that in France, GDP slipped marginally from 0.3% in the third quarter to 0.2% in the fourth. Other countries saw greater declines. OECD elaborates, "In Germany and the United Kingdom GDP contracted by 0.2%. In Italy GDP contracted by 0.7%, the second consecutive quarterly decline."
For all of 2011, GDP growth in the OECD area was 1.8%, which compares to 3.1% growth in 2010.