JACKSON HOLE, Wyoming (Reuters) - The OECD is prepared to cut growth expectations for much of the world, including Europe and Japan, the organization’s head said on Friday.
“We’re not talking about a contraction of the economies, but a slowdown of the growth,” Angel Gurria, secretary-general, of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development club of industrialized nations, said in an interview with Reuters Insider in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where central bankers are gathered for an annual meeting.
Only a few countries, like Turkey, are still experiencing strong growth. The rest are linked together in what has become a general slowdown: “In open economies, if they are not growing of course they don’t buy from the others,” Gurria said.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Friday said the U.S. central bank had marked down its outlook for U.S. economic growth and made clear the policy focus was still on spurring a stronger recovery, but he did not provide any fresh details on steps the Fed could take.
Calling the tone of Bernanke’s speech “very sober,” Gurria said that nevertheless, “It’s always good to listen to the head of the Fed saying, ‘We’re here, we’re vigilant, we will do whatever it takes,’”
For the full interview, please see: reut.rs/oEBEio
Despite the near-term gloom, Gurria said there is still room for optimism on the long-term outlook.
“Not only did he say there’s a way out, there is of course, but he mentioned many of the reasons,” he said of Bernanke’s comments. “What we are seeing at the OECD is: Go structural, go social. That is if you ran out of monetary policy room, you ran out of fiscal room because your pockets are empty, so you go structural.”
Reporting by Dan Burns, writing by Ann Saphir; Editing by Padraic Cassidy, Gary Crosse, Leslie Adler