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Major economies losing growth momentum: OECD

PARIS (Reuters) - Major economies, with the exception of the United States, are losing momentum as the outlook for growth worsens in European and developing countries, the OECD's leading indicator for April showed on Tuesday.

The Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said its composite leading indicator for member countries stalled in April to stand unchanged at March's level of 103.0 points.

The indicator for the euro area fell to 102.8 from 103.1. Brazil, China, India and Russia, which are not members of the OECD, also registered lower readings.

The indicator suggested a "possible moderation in economic activity" in China, slowdowns in Brazil and India and showed the "the first sign of a loss of momentum in Russia," the OECD said.

Meanwhile, the U.S. economy, the world's biggest, continued to grow above trend although not as quickly as the indicator had suggested in March.

In the euro zone, the indicator pointed to a stable pace of expansion in heavyweight Germany but clear signs of slowdowns in France and Italy. Outside the euro zone, the indicator suggested a stable, but slow pace of expansion in Britain.

No reading was given for Japan because of the exceptional economic circumstances the country is facing since it was hit by an earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis in March.

In its twice-yearly Economic Outlook, the OECD forecast last month that world growth would ease to 4.2 percent this year from 4.9 percent in 2010 before accelerating to 4.6 percent in 2012.

However, since then a stream of data from the United States and Europe have come in on the weak side, leaving many forecasters scrambling to revise down their growth estimates. Figures last week showed an unexpected rise in the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits at the beginning of June.

(Reporting by Vicky Buffery and Leigh Thomas; editing by Stephen Nisbet))

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