OECD Economic Outlook, Volume 2003 Issue 1
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OECD Economic Outlook, Volume 2003 Issue 1

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 addition to the themes featured regularly, this issue contains five analytical chapters addressing the following questions: the telecommunications sector,  sources of divergence in growth trends among the major economies, recent patterns and developments in foreign direct investment,  and whether further trade and regulatory policy reforms would affect foreign direct investment flows and economic integration among OECD countries.

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Author(s):
OECD

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GDP growth weakened at the turn of the year, due to shrinking domestic demand. A gradual, export driven recovery is expected later in 2003. Meanwhile, rising unemployment will continue to depress household confidence while investment plans are held back by international uncertainty. Growth can be expected to pick up later this year and into 2004 as high growth in neighbouring accession countries impacts positively on growth in Austria and fiscal policy offers some support.

By allowing the structural deficit to deteriorate by ½ per cent of GDP in 2003 the new Austrian government is giving less priority than its predecessor to maintaining a balanced budget. The scheduled tax reductions for 2004 and 2005 will be partly debt financed and may act pro-cyclically. Returning to a balanced budget in later years, as intended, requires coherent measures on the expenditure side, linking fiscal consolidation with structural reform.

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