Twice a year, the OECD Economic Outlook analyses the major trends that will mark the next two years. The present issue covers the outlook to the end of 2004 and examines the economic policies required to foster high and sustainable growth in member countries. Developments in selected major non-OECD economies are also evaluated in detail.
In addition to the themes featured regularly, this issue contains four analytical chapters addressing the following important questions: the deterioration in budgetary positions in most OECD countries, raising the labour force participation of older workers, the benefits that OECD countries could achieve from undertaking reforms to promote product market competition, and inflation rates in some of the larger, slow-growing economies have not declined sufficiently to offset higher rates elsewhere in the euro area.
- Publication Date :
- 24 Dec 2002
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Show Abstract /
Following a brief slowdown in 2002, growth is projected to recover to around 4 per cent in 2003 and 2004, reflecting buoyant domestic demand and stronger export demand. This should lead to a further decline in the still-high unemployment rate. Inflation is expected to decelerate over the projection period, influenced by lower food and energy prices. Inflationary pressures remain, though, because of the strong cyclical position of the economy.
Further efforts to control primary government expenditure are required to reduce the still high debt-to-GDP ratio and ensure fiscal sustainability. Recent reforms of the social security and tax systems are steps in that direction. More rapid progress in addressing the remaining structural rigidities in the labour market, a faster opening of network industries to competition and bold reforms in public administration would help towards the convergence of incomes to European Union levels.