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Economist sees recovery in worldwide economies


NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, Ontario — World economies are on a path to recovery after suffering through the global economic downturn, a speaker said Tuesday during the Canadian Commercial Insurance Summit.

“We are on the verge of a rush of growth in the world economy,” said Peter Hall, vice president and chief economist at Export Development Canada, Canada's self-financed export credit agency that provides insurance and financial services.

He said growth will not be restricted to the United States and economies around the world also are on the path to economic recovery.

A composite index of leading economic indicators published by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has risen in 16 of the past 18 months, Mr. Hall said during the conference being held at Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. The 34 OECD member nations account for 52% of the global gross domestic product, he said.

“I believe this indicator is showing us something powerful is going on in underlying growth right across the OECD,” Mr. Hall said. “Leading indicators are rarely wrong.”

Business investment also is on the rise, he said.

“What excites me more than anything else is investment activity,” Mr. Hall said. “We are sitting on the verge of a wave of business investment.”

U.S. consumer confidence is another strong indicator of economic growth, having recovered midway through last year after plunging during and after the world financial downturn, he said.

“People are feeling good about the economy again,” said Mr. Hall.