OECD: countries still need to make reforms to improve growth

Posted September 22, 2017

The Paris-based economic think tank raised its outlook for growth in the Canadian economy to 3.2 per cent this year compared with a June forecast for 2.8 per cent.

Germany is forecast to grow by 2.2 percent in 2017 and 2.1 percent in 2018, France by 1.7 percent in 2017 and 1.6 percent 2018, while Italy will see a 1.4 percent growth rate this year and a 1.2 percent rate in 2018.

As China's economic fundamentals improve, global institutions have generally raised their forecasts of China's growth and expressed more confidence in the country's prospects in recent months, although indicators have pointed to slight weakening of the economy in August. Monetary policy should remain accommodative in some economies but with an eye on financial stability so as to remain supportive of further rebalancing towards fiscal and structural initiatives. The growth outlook for 2018 was cut by 0.5 point to 7.2 percent.

The UK economy remains a laggard, however.

The economist also stressed that structural efforts must be intensified to bolster the nascent investment recovery, to address slow productivity growth and to ensure the recovery yields benefits for all. That's 0.3 percentage point more than its previous prediction in June and means the region will match the expected growth rate of the USA, which was left unchanged.

Canada is set to log the fastest growth among advanced economies this year with the country's projection raised to 3.2% from 3%. Uncertainty over the country's exit from the European Union will continue to hobble its economy, the OECD said.

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Canadian growth is projected at 3.2 percent this year and 2.3 percent in 2018.

"Rising corporate profits should help strengthen business investment through 2018", the OECD added.

Growth in Japan is expected to be 1.6 per cent this year and 1.2 per cent next year. Improvements in wage growth, productivity and regulation in world markets will need to be made, however, if the prediction is to be met, it said.

The downward revision was due to the transitory effects of demonetization and of the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), the group said.

Financial markets are predicting a rise in the cash rate in mid-2018 and another by early 2019, which would take it to two per cent from its record-low 1.5 per cent.