OECD says economic decline nearing bottom; six-party talks become five-party talks; US Fed to consider interest rates; Obama criticises Iran; and more

Top of the Agenda: OECD Forecast, Fed Meetings

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) today revised its World Economic Outlook forecast upward (FT) for the first time since 2007, indicating that it believes the global economic slide may be nearing a bottom. The group revised its estimates for 2009 upward, projecting a contraction of 4.1 percent rather than the 4.3 percent it projected before, and also projected slight growth in 2010, whereas before it had projected none.

Here is the text of the OECD report.

The new OECD report coincides with meetings of the U.S. Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee today in Washington. A blog entry in the Wall Street Journal says the focus of the Fed's meetings will be interest rates, how to word its statement on the economy, and the Fed's asset purchase plan. It outlines what to expect on each.

A separate Journal article says markets seem increasingly out of sync with the Fed and that somebody is sure to be surprised by what comes out of today's meetings.

 

PACIFIC RIM: Trade with China

The United States and European Union filed complaints with the World Trade Organization (BBC) that Beijing is unfairly restricting raw material exports in order to give its domestic industries access to cheap natural resources.

FIVE-PARTY TALKS: Yonhap reports Russia and South Korea are pushing for a new round of talks on North Korea's nuclear situation, but this time excluding Pyongyang itself, shifting to five-party talks from the six-party format formerly established.

In a testimony before the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs, CFR's Adjunct Senior Fellow for Korea Studies Scott Snyder discussed this new initiative calling it the six-party process. He says this process cannot be paralyzed by a North Korean veto, but also does not explicitly exclude Pyongyang

This Backgrounder explains the Six-Party Talks.

 

ELSEWHERE:

- Obama ratchets up criticisms of Iran.

This is an excerpt of the CFR.org Daily News Brief. The full version is available on CFR.org.

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