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US to Power Ahead, Leaving Europe in Its Wake: OECD
CNBC.com | March 29, 2012 | 07:40 AM EDT

Recent economic data suggest the U.S. economy will power ahead of Europe in the first half of 2012, with consumers growing increasingly confident and boosting activity in the former while more reforms are needed in the latter to boost growth, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said in a report on Thursday.

“In the United States, growth prospects continue to firm,” the organization said. “The rebound in equity prices, stronger consumer confidence, and growth in nonfarm payroll employment have lifted projected activity.”

The improved outlook was also reflected in better consumer confidence, increased motor vehicle sales, industrial production and credit growth, it said.

The OECD warned, however, that high oil prices , as well as the housing market , which remains fragile, pose a threat to the recovery in the United States.

The improved outlook for the U.S. contrasts with a weak outlook for Europe.

“The situation for the three largest euro area countries in aggregate is expected to remain fragile, with negative growth projected for the first quarter of 2012 and a moderate rebound in the second quarter,” according to the OECD.

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