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Recovery firms in advanced economies, led by US, Japan -OECD

Monday, 10 Feb 2014 | 6:00 AM ET

PARIS, Feb 10 (Reuters) - The outlook for most advanced economies is improving, with recoveries in the United States and Japan leading the way, the OECD's latest monthly leading indicator showed on Monday.

The Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said its leading indicator covering 33 member countries had reached its highest level since February 2011 in December, indicating that growth was firming.

The indicator, meant to flag early signals of turning points in economic activity, rose to 100.9 in the final month of 2013, edging up from 100.8 in November, the OECD said.

Among the major economies, the United States' reading improved to 101.0 from 100.9, reaching its highest level since March 2008 - just before the worst of the financial and economic crisis triggered by the bursting of a sub-prime debt bubble.

Japan saw its indicator move up to 101.4 from 101.3 in November, also hitting its highest level since the financial crisis as the central bank boosts the economy with unprecedented monetary stimulus.

The crisis-weary euro zone was not left out, with its reading rising to 101.1 from 100.9, which the OECD said indicated "a positive change in momentum".

In Britain, the OECD said its reading was steady in December from November at 101.3.

The trend was less upbeat in the major emerging markets tracked by the OECD, with China's reading stable at 99.3 and Russia's indicator also unchanged at 99.7.

India's reading deteriorated slightly to 97.0 from 97.2 with economic activity below its long-term trend, the OECD said.

(Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Catherine Evans)