The pace of contraction in world economic output appears to be easing and recovery could begin at the end of this year, Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD) chief Angel Gurria said on Friday.

Indicators ranging from U.S. house sales to Chinese exports are beginning to pick up and the global economy is no longer in free fall, Gurria said at a conference.

Asked if world output could begin to recover by the year end Gurria said: I would say yes; the issue of recovery does not mean that we start to have very clear positive figures but that first the world economy stops contracting.

Upcoming forecasts for OECD member countries will be the first in several revisions not to show a serious deterioration in GDP, Gurria said.

The United States will recover before Europe due to the larger economic stimulus package launched by Washington and the fact that the U.S. financial crisis started before that in Europe, Gurria said.

(Reporting by Andrew Hay; editing by David Stamp)