OECD: Global recession close to bottoming out

The deepest global recession in over 60 years is close to bottoming out, but recovery will be weak unless governments take further action to remove uncertainty over banks' balance sheets, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said Wednesday. In its half-yearly economic outlook, the Paris-based organization said it expects its member countries' economies to shrink by 4.1 percent this year, with only government rescue measures heading off an even worse decline. Jorgen Elmeskov, the OECD's acting economics department head said the recovery "is likely to be both weak and fragile for some time." The OECD predicts that the US economy will shrink by 2.8% this year compared to a 1.1% growth in 2008. Japanese output is likely to contract by 6.8 percent this year and the 16 nation euro-zone will likely shrink by 4.8 percent. The outlook forecast growth in all three regions next year, with overall growth across its membership expected to average 0.7 percent in 2010, according to the report.