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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Growth, which was already subdued since 1998, slowed further in 2002 as wages and the exchange rate soared, squeezing mainland industry. Activity will remain subdued this year, but should pick up in 2004 as monetary policy easing feeds through and the global economy recovers. The unemployment rate is expected to peak at 4½ per cent, with inflation remaining low.

The authorities should not ease fiscal policy beyond the room for manoeuvre provided by the fiscal guidelines since easing would lead to further crowding-out of exposed industries. Wage moderation is needed to contain cost pressures, and work disincentives stemming from the disability and early retirement schemes should be reduced to stimulate labour supply.

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