Global Economy
Private consumption main driver of OECD GDP growth in Q3 2014
By Michael Hennigan, Finfacts founder and editor
Jan 14, 2015 - 11:05 AM

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Real GDP in the OECD area increased by 0.6% in the third quarter of 2014 compared with growth of 0.4% in the second quarter. Private consumption was the main driver of overall GDP growth contributing 0.4 percentage  point. The contribution from government consumption, investment and net exports added 0.1 percentage point each. Destocking (minus 0.2 percentage point) partially offset these contributions.

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.

Overall growth continued to show diverging patterns across OECD countries. However, consumer spending was the main growth driver in all the Major Seven economies except France.

In the United States private consumption, followed by investments in fixed assets were the main contributors to overall GDP growth (1.2%), contributing 0.6 and 0.3 percentage point, respectively. Net exports and government consumption added 0.2 percentage point each.

In the UK, where overall GDP grew by 0.7%, private consumption contributed 0.6 percentage point, followed by stockbuilding and government consumption with 0.2 and 0.1 percentage point, respectively. These positive contributions were partially offset by net exports (minus 0.2 percentage point).

In Canada, private consumption and investments were the main drivers of GDP growth (0.7%) contributing 0.4 and 0.3 percentage point, respectively. Net exports added 0.2 percentage point, while destocking reduced growth by 0.2 percentage point.

In France, GDP grew for the first time in three quarters (by 0.3 %), reflecting positive contributions from stockbuilding (0.3 percentage point), private consumption and government consumption (0.2 percentage point each).

These positive contributions were partially offset by negative contributions from net exports (minus 0.2 percentage point) and investments (minus 0.1 percentage point).

In Germany, private consumption contributed 0.4 percentage point to GDP growth (0.1%). Net exports and government consumption added 0.2 and 0.1 percentage point, respectively. However, the negative contributions from inventories (minus 0.5 percentage point) and investments in fixed assets (minus 0.2 percentage point) significantly reduced GDP growth to 0.1%.

In Italy, contractions in investments (which contributed minus 0.2 point percentage), government consumption and destocking (minus 0.1 percentage point each) kept GDP growth in negative territory (minus 0.1%). Positive contributions from private consumption and net exports (0.1 percentage point each) partly offset these falls.

In Japan, private consumption contributed 0.2 percentage point (compared with minus 3.1 in the previous quarter). Net exports and government consumption added 0.1 percentage point each. However, negative contributions from destocking and investments (minus 0.6 and minus 0.2 percentage point, respectively) meant that overall GDP contracted for the second straight quarter (minus 0.5 % compared with minus 1.7 % in the previous quarter).

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