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May 29, 2017

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Emerging countries waver as advanced economies expand

PARIS--Emerging economies China, Russia and Brazil are showing signs of slowing down but advanced economies are growing steadily, the OECD said on Tuesday.

The findings of these so-called leading indicators are in line with a general picture that emerging economies have lost some of the driving steam that helped the world through a recent downturn in advanced economies.

Among advanced countries, the United States and Canada are showing stable growth momentum, the 18-member eurozone as a whole including Italy is improving, and non-euro Britain is steadying at unusually strong growth rates.

The OECD published the monthly data shortly after the British statistics office reported that industrial output expanded 0.4 percent in April from the March level when it gained 0.1 percent, and over 12 months showed a jump of 3.0 percent.

That was far ahead of analysts' expectation of a 12-month rise of 2.8 percent.

At Berenberg bank, chief UK economist Rob Wood commented: "Today brought yet more good news on the strength of the UK recovery, with manufacturing output rising solidly for the fifth consecutive month.

"The UK economy is increasingly firing on all cylinders, setting up the second quarter for another strong growth reading."

Meanwhile, the OECD said that for Germany and France, the signs were that these two economies were growing steadily.

On Tuesday, data from the French statistics institute said that industrial output rallied in April by 0.3 percent after falling by 0.4 percent in March

The signals for Japan pointed to an upset in its momentum towards growth, but this could reflect one-off factors, the OECD said.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said that its leading indicators of trends suggested "that the growth momentum is weakening in most major emerging economies."

But India looks as though it is picking up speed, the OECD said.

These indicators, which are closely watched by analysts and investors as reliable pointers to future activity, "point to growth below trend in Brazil, China and Russia."

But for India the indicators "tentatively indicates a positive turning point" which could suggest "a return to faster growth."

The OECD is a policy research center and advice forum for 34 advanced democracies, and also monitors big emerging markets, and notably those in the so-called BRICS group comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

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