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Thursday, 17 October, 2002, 10:52 GMT 11:52 UK
US economy tipped for rapid recovery
Doubts over the US economic recovery are growing
The US economy will bounce back this year and next, quickly shrugging off fears of a prolonged recession, a leading economic forecaster has predicted.

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which groups together the world's 30 leading economies, "the recession that began in March 2001 was among the mildest on record."

An OECD report forecast economic growth this year of 2.4% and of 2.7% in 2003.

While these figures are well below the average of the later 1990s, they compare with a 0.3% trough recorded in 2001.

The organisation warned, however, that the Federal Reserve should be ready to cut interest rates yet further if the recovery flags - although the longer-term trend was towards higher rates.

Reasons to be cheerful

The OECD's optimism is in contrast to the prevailing view that any recovery will be slow and fragile.

Predictions that the US would bounce back quickly after a sharp economic dip at the end of last year have proved unfounded, and recent data has been at best mixed.

US economic growth
But the OECD said that growth was being driven by "remarkable" productivity gains - advances in technology that have made it possible to squeeze more output from the same amount of economic activity.

It also praised US consumers, whose willingness to spend had not seriously faltered, and argued that management of interest rates had been "skilful".


Economic indicators

Fears and hopes

US Fed decisons

IN DEPTH
See also:

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