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Top economies contract in Q1: OECD

Leading global economies contracted in the first three months of 2014 as companies traded less and ordered fewer goods, and despite a slight rise in private consumption, the OECD said on Thursday.

PARIS: Leading global economies contracted in the first three months of 2014 as companies traded less and ordered fewer goods, and despite a slight rise in private consumption, the OECD said on Thursday.

Data showed that economic activity contracted by 0.2 percent overall in the first quarter of 2014 among the group's 34 members, compared with the last quarter of 2013.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development had recorded growth of 0.5 percent in the previous quarter.

For the third quarter running, private consumption was the biggest contributor to business activity, posting an increase of 0.3 percent in the first three months of this year, a statement said.

Meanwhile, international trade trimmed the overall result by 0.1 percentage point, while the drawing down of stocks led to the cut of another 0.2 percentage points.

Those two factors were particularly prevalent in the United States, the world's leading economy, where bad weather has been blamed in large part for an overall drop of 0.7 percent in the three-month period.

In Japan, the third biggest global economy, consumption helped achieve overall growth of 1.6 percent, but that was in part owing to purchases being moved up ahead of a sales tax increase in April.

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