OECD Economic Outlook, Volume 2002 Issue 2
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OECD Economic Outlook, Volume 2002 Issue 2

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.

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Growth in the first half of 2002 was minimal, and is expected to have recovered only slightly in the second half of the year. The economy is projected to gather strength during 2003 and in 2004. A pick-up in world trade is likely to boost to exports, while low real interest rates should underpin a revival in domestic demand. Inflation is expected to decline to below 2 per cent by 2004.

The budget deficit remains high, with the risk that progress on debt reduction will stall. Wage settlements geared to targets and developments at the European level would yield beneficial effects on inflation, employment and competitiveness. At the same time, there is a need to strengthen the underpinnings of growth through more decisive action to liberalise product markets and to improve the functioning of the labour market.

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