Industrialised economies grow

Paris, March 6:

The OECD forecast today that growth of the world’s most industrialised econ-omies would accelerate in the first half of year, but highlighted the housing market as a possible risk to global expansion.

“Against the background of high and volatile energy prices but still intriguingly low long-term interest rates, activity is estimated to have re-accelerated,” chief economist at the organisation, Jean-Philippe Cotis, said. The economies of the Group of Seven (G7) countries, the seven most industrialised economies in the world, would grow by 0.8 per cent in the first quarter and 0.7 per cent in the second quarter after a slowdown in the final quarter of 2005. In the eurozone, growth was forecast to be 0.6 per cent in the first and second quarter after 0.3 per cent in the final quarter of 2005. Cotis warned the ECB against raising interest rates too quickly.