Outlook for industrialized nations improving: OECD

PARIS Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:48am EDT

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PARIS (Reuters) - The growth outlook for major industrialized economies is improving with Germany and the United States leading the recovery, the OECD's leading indicator for February showed on Monday.

The Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said its composite leading indicator (CLI) for member countries rose to 103.2 points in February from 103.0 in January, well above a long-term average of 100.

The United States and Germany in particular were showing signs of "robust expansion" while France and Canada were possibly regaining momentum, the OECD said.

The indicator for countries belonging to the Group of Seven wealthy countries rose to 103.5 in February from 103.2 in January. For the euro zone, the indicator nudged up to 103.5 from 103.4.

The CLI for Britain pointed to a "slow but stable pace of expansion," while for Italy it indicated a loss of momentum in economic activity. No figures were given for Japan because of the uncertain outlook for the country's economy after the earthquake and tsunami last month.

Among countries not belonging to the OECD but tracked by it, the indicator suggested that China was headed for a "possible moderation in economic activity," the OECD said.

The OECD is to update its growth forecasts for members and major economies next month. It said on Monday it had raised its forecast for French growth this year to 2 percent from 1.6 percent earlier.

(Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)

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