PARIS (Reuters) - The economic outlook for the OECD area declined at a slower pace in April, an OECD survey said on Monday, and there were stronger indications that the downturn may have hit bottom in Canada, France, Italy and Britain.
The Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development said its composite leading indicator for the OECD area rose in April, reaching 93.2 compared to a revised 92.7 in March. There was an 8.3 point drop from April a year earlier.
The indicator for major economies in the Group of Seven also rose to 92.4 from a revised 92.0 the previous month, giving a 9.2 point year-on-year drop.
“While it is still too early to assess whether it is a temporary or a more durable turning point, OECD composite leading indicators (CLIs) for April 2009 point to a reduced pace of deterioration in most of the OECD economies,” the OECD said in its survey.
After last month’s early signs of a pause in the slowdown in France, Italy and Britain, there were now stronger signals that the downturn had reached bottom in these countries.
April’s indicators for Canada also pointed to a possible trough, the OECD said.
“The signals remain tentative but they are present in the majority of CLI component series for these countries,” the OECD indicated in Monday’s report.
In Japan, Germany and the United States, positive signals were also beginning to emerge, the OECD said, although the leading indicators were still pointing to a slowdown.
Japan in particular saw its CLI rise slightly to 89.5 in April, from 89.4 the previous month, representing an 11.9 point decline compared to the same period last year.
In non-OECD economies, however, the composite leading indicators still pointed to deteriorating conditions, although signs of a trough had emerged in China and India.
China’s CLI rose to 94.3 in April from 93.4 in March, its third consecutive monthly rise.
Reporting by Vicky Buffery; Editing by James Mackenzie