March 28 - The United States and Japan are leading a rebound in advanced economies while the euro zone continues to lag, according to the OECD's latest predictions. Rough cut (no reporter narration).
(ROUGH CUT ONLY - NO REPORTER NARRATION) The OECD predicts there will be stronger growth in the United States, Japan and Germany, while other countries in the euro zone are expected to lag. The organisation says the Group of Seven advanced economies will grow on average 2.4 per cent in the first quarter. It's good news for these economies, which had contracted 0.5 per cent in the previous three months. The United States is leading the pack with forecast growth of 3.5 per cent in the first quarter, followed by Japan at 3.2 per cent. But it's a mixed bag for the eurozone countries, with Germany expected to grow 2.3 per cent in the first quarter, as its neighbours struggle. OECD Chief Economist Pier Carlo Padoan said the European Central Bank would be justified in cutting interest rates. The report comes ahead of a more detailed publication due to be released in May.