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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OECD

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After a very strong performance during most of last year, output slowed down markedly in the autumn, mainly because of faltering export demand. Output growth is likely to have remained weak through the winter, but the pause is expected to be fairly short-lived. Economic fundamentals are sound, and activity should pick up in the second half of this year if the US recovery accelerates as expected and the present uncertainties diminish. Even though the recent rise in inflation was partly due to one-off factors, price pressures are beginning to build.

The Bank of Canada will need to raise interest rates further this year and next in order to avoid overheating. The planned shift in the fiscal stance, due to a substantial increase in spending, increases these overheating risks. Even though the medium-term fiscal situation is still solid, the government will eventually need to control the underlying sources of spending pressures, particularly in the health care system.

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