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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Domestic demand decelerated at the end of 2002 in a context of geopolitical uncertainty that may continue well into 2003. Nevertheless, with a recovery in world demand expected in the second half of 2003, output growth may return to around 6 per cent in 2004. The unemployment rate is likely to remain near 3 per cent, while core inflation may rise to the top of the 2.5 to 3.5 per cent target range.

A gradual increase in interest rates may be necessary to keep inflation within its target zone, as the pace of growth picks up. Moving ahead with the privatisation of state-owned banks is important to cover part of the cost of financial-sector restructuring, while helping to promote corporate restructuring. Given this cost, as well as future spending pressures, the emphasis on fiscal consolidation has been appropriate.

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