Rich nations will outstrip growth forecasts for the first half of 2012 but leading European economies will lag behind the US, the OECD said today.

The OECD strongly upgraded some of its forecasts in an upbeat view of the recovery from financial crisis and the European debt crisis.

But this improved outlook is fragile, notably because of the easing but still unresolved debt strains in the euro zone and due to rising oil prices.


"Growth is expected to be firmer through the first half of the year," the OECD said in the report, which focused n the economic outlook in the rich G7 nations.

"Short-term prospects have improved relative to the situation prevailing in late 2011, but indicators still suggest a fragile recovery," it added.

The new forecast for the first half of 2012 pointed to a "decoupling" between North America which should see "robust growth", and Europe where "the outlook remains weak", the organisation said

The US should see growth in the first quarter of 2012 reach 2.9% on a 12-month basis, up from an earlier forecast of 1.7%, and grow 2.8% in the second quarter, up from 1.9%.