Economic growth slows across major economies

GROWTH declined in the final quarter of 2011 across most of the world’s 20 biggest economies, according to research published yesterday.

Aggregate GDP growth slowed to 0.7 per cent, following a 0.9 per cent expansion in the previous three month period and taking growth for the year as a whole to 2.8 per cent.

That represents a marked drop from growth of five per cent in 2010, and the quarterly growth is the weakest since early-2009 when the top 20 economies contracted by 1.6 per cent.

Indonesia led the field with growth of 2.1 per cent in the fourth quarter, closely followed by China, at two per cent, and India at 1.8 per cent.

The worst performances came in Italy, where GDP contracted by 0.7 per cent, and Japan and the UK, which both saw contractions of 0.2 per cent.

Brazil’s economy accelerated in the quarter, reversing a 0.1 per cent fall in the three months to September to grow by 0.3 per cent, while South Africa’s growth rate also improved from 0.4 to 0.8 per cent.