Growth of real gross domestic product (GDP) in the OECD area slowed to 0.3% in the first quarter of 2015, down from 0.5% in the fourth quarter of 2014, according to provisional estimates. The OECD area comprises all the developed economies.
Among the Major Seven economies, growth slowed most significantly in the United States (to 0.1%) and in Germany (to 0.3%), down from 0.5% and 0.7% respectively in the fourth quarter of 2014. Growth also decelerated in the United Kingdom, to 0.3%, down from 0.6% in the previous quarter.
On the other hand, GDP growth picked up strongly, to 0.6%, in the first quarter of 2015 in France, following flat growth in the previous quarter. In Japan, GDP growth also accelerated to 0.6%, up from 0.3% in the previous quarter. In Italy, real GDP grew (by 0.3%) for the first time since the third quarter of 2013.
In the European Union, GDP growth was stable at 0.4% in the first quarter of 2015, while the Eurozone continued to show marginal improvements (0.4%, up from 0.2% and 0.3%, respectively, in the third and fourth quarters of 2014).
Year-on-year GDP growth for the OECD area increased marginally to 1.9% in the first quarter of 2015, from 1.8% in the previous quarter. Among the Major Seven economies, the United States (3.0%) and the United Kingdom (2.4%) continued to record the highest growth rates in the first quarter of 2015, compared with the same quarter of 2014. Italy registered flat growth for the first time following thirteen consecutive quarters of contracting annual growth, while in Japan GDP contracted by minus 1.4%.
The Paris based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development is a think-tank for 34 mainly developed countries. OECD member countries are: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States. The European Commission takes part in the work of the OECD.