INTERNATIONAL BRIEFS

INTERNATIONAL BRIEFS

OECD Says Outlook

Brightest for US, JapanEconomic trends look better than at the turn of the year, especially in the United States and Japan, senior finance officials of 10 leading industrial nations agreed as they began two-day talks here Thursday behind closed doors.

Participants in a meeting of the exclusive Working Party No. 3 of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development said privately they saw grounds for taking a more optimistic view of the medium-term prospect for adjustment of major international financial imbalances.

Central Bank governors of key countries expressed similar views after their monthly meeting at Basel earlier this week, suggesting that Western economies had recovered faster than initially expected from last October's stock market crash and the ensuing slide of the U.S. dollar.

The Working Party, whose main task is to monitor the balance of payments adjustment process, consists of top Treasury officials from the Group of Seven countries - Britain, Canada, France, West Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States - as well as The Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland.

Northern Telecom

Signs Swedish Contract

TORONTO - Northern Telecom signed an agreement with the Televerket, the Swedish government post, telephone and telegraph agency, to supply high-speed data switching systems for its nationwide packet data transmission network.

The long-term supply agreement includes orders valued at C$17 million ($13.56 million) covering deliveries during the first two years.

The new equipment will increase by ten-fold data traffic in the existing public packet data network in Sweden in the next seven years.

Leading Indicator

Rises 0.4 percent in Canada

OTTAWA - Canada's composite leading economic indicator rose 0.4 percent in

December to 192.2 from 191.5 in November, Statistics Canada reported Thursday.

Three of the 10 component indexes fell in December, led by the Toronto Stock Exchange 300 Index, which fell 4.0 percent to 3,400.

The residential construction index was down for the fourth consecutive month, falling 3.2 percent to 122.7. M1 fell 0.3 percent to 11.201 billion 1971 Canadian dollars. M1 is the total of private demand, or checking account, deposits at commercial banks and any cash in the public hands.