The outlook for the world's major economies is continuing to darken according to the latest data from the OECD published on Monday, which showed sharp falls in leading indicators for all countries except Japan.
The Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said its composite leading indicator (CLI) for its 33 member countries dropped for a fifth straight month in August, hitting 100.8 after 101.4 in July and signaling a slowdown in economic activity.
Individual country readings fell across the board, including for non-OECD member countries, with most seeing their CLIs drop below their long-term average of 100.
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Only Germany, Russia and the United States kept readings above 100. Japan, meanwhile, stood out as the only country not yet headed for a clear slowdown, registering a modest 1-point decline in its CLI to 102.5 from 102.6.
"For all other major economies, except Japan, the CLIs are now pointing strongly to a slowdown in economic activity below long-term trend," the OECD said.
The OECD CLIs are designed to anticipate turning points in economic activity relative to trend — a turnaround in an indicator tends to precede turning points in economic activity by around six months.
The consensus at the moment is that many major western economies are teetering on the brink of recession, as they struggle to repay inflated levels of debt.
The OECD's reading for the Group of Seven major economies — France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States — slumped to 101.1 in August from 101.7 in July, while the reading for the euro area fell 9 points, to 99.8 from 100.7.
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