April 8, 2020 / 10:17 AM / 3 months ago

OECD says leading indicators flag biggest monthly drop on record

FILE PHOTO: A Times Square Alliance street sweeper worker walks though a nearly empty Times Square in Manhattan during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New York City, New York, U.S., April 7, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Segar

PARIS (Reuters) - Major economies are seeing the biggest monthly slump in activity ever amid the coronavirus crisis and no end is in sight without clarity about how long lockdowns will last, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said on Wednesday.

The OECD said its leading indicators, which are designed to flag turning points in economic activity, suggested all major economies had plunged into a “sharp slowdown” with only India registering as being in a mere “slowdown”.

The indicators were flagging “the largest drop on record in most major economies”, the Paris-based OECD said in statement, adding that huge uncertainty over how long lockdowns would last severely muted their predictive value.

As a result, the OECD said the indicators “are not yet able to anticipate the end of the slowdown, especially as it is not yet clear how long, nor indeed severe, lockdown measures are likely to be”.

Last month, the OECD estimated that each month major economies spend in lockdown knocked 2 percentage points off their annual growth.

Reporting by Leigh Thomas; editing by Nick Macfie

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