PARIS: Most leading rich economies are showing "clear signals of recovery" in business activity in the historic recession which has crippled growth over the past year, the OECD economic grouping said on Friday.

The key indicator of economic activity in the 30-nation bloc overall grew 1.5 points from June to July, indicating recovery underway in all the seven biggest economies -- though growth was still down compared to a year earlier.

"OECD composite leading indicators (CLIs) for July 2009 show stronger signs of recovery in most of the OECD economies," the Organisation for Economic Cooperation asnd Development said in a statement.

The CLI is an indicator designed to monitor fluctuations in economic activity and signal turning points in business cycles.

"Clear signals of recovery are now visible in all major seven economies, in particular in France and Italy" -- where there were actually signs of possible expansion -- as well as in non-OECD members China, India and Russia, it said.

The indicator for the world's biggest economy, the United States, ticked up 1.6 points but was down 4.3 points from July 2008, while its second-biggest, Japan, was 1.4 points month-to-month and down 6.6. points from a year earlier.

The eurozone indicator was up 1.9 points, 1.4 points higher overall than July last year.

France and Italy each showed an increase in activity from July 2008, while Europe's biggest economy, Germany, was rebounding sharply from a deep trough, up 2.3 points in July but still down two points below July 2008's level.