For most mortals, economics is a dark and deeply confusing topic. The vocabulary is dense, the relationships contorted. Economists are notorious for offering two — contradictory — opinions on most topics. So forgive us if we are confused at the most recent forecasts of the global economic outlook.

In its most recent assessment, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a group that includes the world’s developed nations, sees the bottom of the recession. It expects its 27 member-country economies to shrink 4.1 percent this year, which in fact is an improvement over its March forecast of a 4.3 percent decline. This is the first time in two years the OECD has made an upward revision.

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