Financial Post Articles
Canada will lead the major industrial nations in economic growth next year topping even the red-hot U.S. economy, according to the OECD.
In its semi-annual report released yesterday, the Organization for Economic Co-operation & Development said Canada's gross domestic product will grow 3.3% in 1998, putting it at the top of the G7 industrial nations. For 1997, it's expected to finish the year with GDP of 3%, behind the U.S., with expected growth of 3.6%.
The U.S. economy, in its sixth year of expansion, has picked up steam. Canada's has been slower, but momentum is building as key indicators show a steady rise in activity.
The Canadian and U.S. economic performances are significantly better than those of other nations in the 29-member OECD, though the economic research organization predicted reasonable growth for about half of its members. That's their strongest overall economic performance in more than a decade.
The OECD economies are expected to grow at an average of 3% this year and 2.7% in 1998. In the G7 countries, average growth next year will be 2.4%, down from the 2.9% expected in 1997. Among members of the European Union, growth for 1998 is projected at 2.7%, compared with 1997 predicted growth of 2.3%.
``Countries still vary in the stage of their business cycles,'' the OECD report said. ``Some are well into mature expansion . . . others are still experiencing significant slack in labor and product markets, although this is generally diminishing.''
The outlook for Japan and major European economies, such as France and Germany, is less encouraging than the projections for Canada and the U.S. Unemployment, continued public spending restraint, government cuts and weakened consumers are the source for the less-than-robust growth projections for some OECD members.
In the OECD as a whole, unemployment is expected to fall by one million to 35.2 million by 1998, with the jobless rate easing to 7.1 % from 7.5% in 1996.
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