Consumer confidence is helping to drive the U.S. economy, which is expected to outperform Europe and the G-7 in the first half, according to a forecast from the OECD.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- U.S. growth is expected to outpace the stagnant economies of European nations in the first half of 2012, according to an Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report released Thursday.
Economic growth in the U.S. is expected to grow at a 2.9% annual rate in the first quarter and a 2.8% rate in the second, compared to an overall growth of 1.9% for the Group of Seven nations, the report said.
The forecast for Europe is quite dismal. The three leaders of the euro zone -- France, Germany and Italy -- are expected to shrink at a collective 0.4% annual rate during the first quarter, followed by a tentative 0.9% rebound in the second.
Germany is the strongest of the three, on an individual basis, with a flat forecast for the first quarter and growth rate of 1.5% expected for the second. Italy is expected to slump during both quarters.
Canada and Japan are expected to be more robust. Canada is projected to grow by a 2.5% annual rate in each quarter during the first half. Japan is forecast to grow at a 3.4% in the first quarter, in the strongest quarterly showing in the OECD report, followed by 1.4% growth in the second.
|What we want Apple to unveil at WWDC|
|Millennials squeezed out of buying a home|
|7 traits the rich have in common|
|Big Data knows you're sick, tired and depressed|
|Your car is a giant computer - and it can be hacked|
|Overnight Avg Rate||Latest||Change||Last Week|
|30 yr fixed||3.92%||3.97%|
|15 yr fixed||3.00%||3.08%|
|30 yr refi||3.99%||4.02%|
|15 yr refi||3.10%||3.16%|
Today's featured rates: