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OECD predicts moderate growth, unemployment to drop only slowly

The US and the eurozone will see economic output grow at a modest pace this year and next, but the number of people out of a job will remain higher than before the crisis, according to the OECD's spring outlook.

OECD: US, China growth to pick up

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) predicts modest global growth for 2014 and 2015 in its biannual economic outlook, published on Tuesday. But the group lowered its 2014 global forecast to 3.4-percent growth, down from 3.6 percent predicted in its autumn outlook last year.

Unemployment across the world is to fall only slowly, with 11.25 million more people out of a job at the end of 2015 than at the onset of the global crisis, according to the global forum.

Global growth will increasingly be shaped by Asian countries, specifically by China and India. Their share of the OECD countries' combined output is to rise to 73 percent in 2060, up from 33 percent in 2010.

The global forum says the recovery in the US - still the world's largest economy - would pick up, reducing unemployment and driving inflation close to the central bank's target.

Eurozone risks

In the eurozone, the recovery will be more moderate, with growth predicted at 1.2 percent this year and 1.7 percent next year. Joblessness is to remain high. Low inflation is likely to remain an issue, which is why the OECD recommends keeping interest rates low, or even lowering them further.

The banking union in the euro area needs to be completed, the OECD says, emphasizing the need for "reliable estimates of capital needs, followed by swift recapitalizations."

The OECD stresses that structural reforms are "essential" for all member states if growth is to improve.

In nearly all member states, further fiscal consolidation is warranted to reduce government debt to within 60 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). The UK, Spain and the US need to maintain additional fiscal consolidation efforts beyond 2015.

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