The OECD has warned that tepid global growth means unemployment will remain high unless ambitious reforms are undertaken.

The world’s richest nations must undertake ambitious reforms if the global economy is to generate much-needed strong growth.

It’s a message Treasurer Joe Hockey has repeatedly urged during Australia’s 2014 G20 presidency.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) agrees.

In an economic assessment prepared for this weekend’s G20 finance ministers and central bankers meeting in Cairns, the OECD has trimmed most of its 2014 and 2015 growth forecasts for large economies.

It warns the tepid rate of growth means unemployment will remain high and trade will remain sluggish.

“The continued failure of the global economy to generate strong, balanced and inclusive growth underlines the urgency of ambitious reform efforts,” OECD says in the report released on Monday.

While some countries are grasping structural reform opportunities, others need to be more ambitious in measures to boost competition and employment to achieve stronger and more inclusive growth.

Interest rates must remain supportive in all major advanced economies, while most countries need to make further progress on fiscal consolidation to ensure debt burdens remain sustainable.

There are many significant risks to the near-term outlook, including continued subdued growth in the euro area.

Geopolitical risks have grown in recent months, with an intensification of conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East and increasing uncertainty about the outcome of the referendum on Scottish independence, the Paris-based institution says.

The bullishness of financial markets, as some equity market reach record highs, appears at odds with the intensification of several significant risks.

“This highlights the possibility that risk is being mispriced and the attendant dangers of a sudden correction,” the report says.

Mr Hockey will co-host the two-day Cairns meeting with Reserve governor Glenn Stevens. It will set the framework for the Brisbane leaders meeting in November.


US – 2014 – 2.1 per cent(-0.5), 2015 – 3.1 (-0.4)

Euro area – 0.8 (-0.4), 1.1 (-0.6)

Japan – 0.9 (-0.3), 1.1 (-0.2)

Germany – 1.5 (-0.4), 1.5 (-0.6)

France – 0.4 (-0.5), 1.0 (-0.5)

Italy – -0.4 (-0.9), 0.1 (-1.0)

UK – 3.1 (-0.1), 2.8 (+0.1)

Canada – 2.3 (-0.2), 2.7 (0.0)

China – 7.4 (0.0), 7.3 (0.0)

India – 5.7 (+0.8), 5.9 (0.0)

Brazil – 0.3 (-1.5), 1.4 (-0.8)