Europe Faces 2012 Economic Slowdown

A new report says the 17 eurozone nations are facing a marked economic slowdown in 2012, with some countries sliding into a recession.

The Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) predicted Monday that collectively the economies in the countries that use the euro currency will virtually stall in 2012. It projected growth of only three-tenths of one percent, less than a sixth of the 2 percent growth that was projected just five months ago.

The agency said there would be “patches of mild negative growth” in some eurozone nations.

It praised European leaders for adopting a debt-relief plan last week aimed at resolving Greece’s debt crisis. But it said details of its implementation should be quickly made public to reassure world financial markets. The agency said European economic growth could be better than expected if the debt plan proves to be successful.

Japan said Monday it would continue to buy European governmental bonds. But, like China last week, Japan stopped short of saying it would invest in the eurozone’s expanded bailout fund to aid debt-ridden countries in the future.

The OECD, which promotes economic growth, said U.S. economic prospects are weak as well, echoing projections made by key American finance officials. The agency projected that the world’s largest economy would advance a sluggish 1.8 percent next year, down from the 3.1 percent figure it predicted last May.

The agency released its report three days ahead of the Group of 20 meeting in Cannes, France, of leaders from the world’s industrial and developing nations. voa

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