The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) forecast that economic output will shrink this quarter for the 30 market democracies that make up its membership. The contraction is expected to continue until the middle of next year. That would be the first time since the mid 70’s oil crisis that the US, Europe and Japan have fallen into recession around the same time. Germany, Europe’s largest economy, is the latest developed country to announce it has fallen into recession.
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World in recession
ZAA NKWETA (VOICEOVER), TRNN: The world’s developed economies have slid into recession, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and will shrink further in 2009. In its latest economic forecasts, the Paris-based organization representing democracies with market economies said gross domestic product was likely to fall by 0.3 percent in 2009 for its 30 member countries. It said the US economy would contract by 0.9 percent, Japan’s by 0.1 percent, and the Euro area by 0.5 percent.
JORGEN ELMESKOV, DIRECTOR OF POLICY STUDIES, OECD: Well, this is obviously not a very positive outlook that we’re presenting. We’re basically saying that the OECD is in recession, and that the OECD is going to stay in recession for some time to come, and that the subsequent recovery is going to be a relatively slow one. We recognize that there are large uncertainties around that outcome, but the basic message is that we’re in for a very troubled period.
NKWETA: Growth in Germany, Europe’s largest economy, will slow to a standstill next year, according to the government’s independent panel of economic advisors. The five-member panel predicted zero growth in 2009, following growth of 1.7 percent this year. In addition, they forecast that the number of unemployed Germans would rise to an average of 3.3 million in 2009, which represents the highest unemployment figures in 16 years. Given the economic pessimism, the group known in Germany as the Five Wise Men called for the government to undertake an economic stimulus package as quickly as possible.