The OECD has urged the European Central Bank to step up support for the euro zone economy that its sees as posing a major risk to slowing world growth. 

"Given the very weak economy and the risk of deflation, the ECB should expand its monetary support beyond currently announced measures, building on the positive effects to date," the OECD said.

The European Central Bank held its monthly monetary policy meeting in Frankfurt today, where it kept euro zone interest rates at their record lows of 0.05%.

"This should include a commitment to sizeable asset purchases ("quantitative easing") until inflation is back on track," it said.

It added that the purchases could include government bonds, which the ECB has so far shunned due to political sensitivities in Europe about the central bank underwriting government spending.

The ECB has so far focused its monetary stimulus, designed to spur lending and investment by buying financial assets, on packages of loans known as asset-backed securities (ABS) and corporate bonds.

The ECB said it could inject some €1 trillion into the economy in this manner, as a means to stem a slide in inflation. 

At 0.4%, inflation is way below the ECB's target of just under 2% and is flirting with deflation which leads to economic contraction and job losses. 

The OECD's chief economist Catherine Mann said that "overall, the euro area is grinding to a standstill and poses a major risk to world growth." 

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, which provides economic analysis and advice to its industrialised country members, lowered its forecast for global growth this year by a tenth of a percentage point to 0.4%. 

For 2015 it cut the forecast by two tenths of a point to 3.7% growth.

With a debate ranging in Europe over whether to let up on austerity measures, the OECD said "all room to engage fiscal policy must be exploited".

It left in place its forecast for the euro zone to grow by 0.8% this year and by 1.1% in 2015.