OECD Economic Outlook

English
Frequency
Semiannual
ISSN: 
1609-7408 (online)
ISSN: 
0474-5574 (print)
DOI: 
10.1787/16097408
Next Edition: 07 June 2017
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The OECD Economic Outlook is the OECD’s twice-yearly analysis of the major economic trends and prospects for the next two years. Prepared by the OECD Economics Department, the Outlook puts forward a consistent set of projections for output, employment, government spending, prices and current balances based on a review of each member country and of the induced effect on each of them on international developments.

Coverage is provided for all OECD member countries as well as for selected non-member countries. Each issue includes a general assessment, chapters summarizing developments and providing projections for each individual country, three to five chapters on topics of current interest such as housing, and an extensive statistical annex with a wide variety of variables including general debt.
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OECD Economic Outlook, Volume 2016 Issue 2

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Author(s):
OECD
17 Dec 2016
Pages:
336
ISBN:
9789264267589 (PDF) ; 9789264267602 (EPUB) ;9789264267596(print)
DOI: 
10.1787/eco_outlook-v2016-2-en

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The OECD Economic Outlook  is the OECD's twice-yearly analysis of the major economic trends and prospects for the next two years. The Outlook puts forward a consistent set of projections for output, employment, prices, fiscal and current account balances.
Coverage is provided for all OECD member countries as well as for selected non-member countries. This issue includes a general assessment, a special chapter on promoting productivity and equality, a chapter summarising developments and providing projections for each individual country and a statistical annex.

Also available in French, German
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  • Editorial: Deploy effective fiscal initiatives and promote inclusive trade policies to escape from the low-growth trap

    For the last five years the global economy has been in a low-growth trap, with growth disappointingly low and stuck at around 3 per cent per year. Persistent growth shortfalls have weighed on future output expectations and thereby reduced current spending and potential output gains. Around the world, private investment has been weak, public investment has slowed, and global trade growth has collapsed, all of which have limited the improvements in employment, labour productivity and wages needed to support sustainable gains in living standards. Overall, a slowdown in structural policy ambition and policy incoherence have slowed business dynamism, trapped resources in unproductive firms, weakened financial institutions and undermined productivity growth. In the face of these limited prospects, the OECD has argued in previous Economic Outlooks that fiscal, monetary and structural policies need to be deployed comprehensively and collectively for economies to grow sufficiently to make good on promises to their citizens.

  • General assessment of the macroeconomic situation

    For the last five years the global economy has been in a low-growth trap, with growth disappointingly low and stuck at around 3%. Persistent growth shortfalls have weighed on future output expectations and thereby reduced current spending and potential output growth. Global trade and investment have been weak, limiting the advances in labour productivity and wages that are required to support sustainable consumption growth. However, fiscal policies, both implemented and proposed, could, if effective, catalyse private economic activity and push the global economy to a modestly higher growth rate of around 3½ per cent by 2018. Exiting the low-growth trap depends on policy choices, as well as on concerted and effective implementation. If, as assumed in the projections, the incoming US Administration implements a significant and effective fiscal initiative that boosts domestic investment and consumption, global growth could increase by 0.1 percentage point in 2017 and 0.3 percentage point in 2018. If the fiscal stimulus underway in China continues to support demand, this could also bolster global growth by 0.2 percentage points per annum on average over 2017-18. A more robust fiscal easing than currently projected in many other advanced economies, including in the EU, would further support domestic and global activity. OECD analysis of fiscal space indicates that the EU has room for more concerted action.

  • Using the fiscal levers to escape the low-growth trap

    Almost a decade after the outbreak of the financial crisis, the global economy remains in a low-growth trap with weak investment, trade, productivity and wage growth and rising inequality in some countries. Monetary policy is overburdened, leading to growing financial risks and distortions. Alongside structural reforms, a stronger fiscal policy response is needed to boost near-term growth and strengthen long-term prospects for inclusive growth.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Developments in individual OECD and selected non-member economies

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    • Argentina

      Economic growth is projected to rebound strongly in 2017 and 2018 as the impact of recent reforms and changes in economic policy start to gain traction. Inflation remains high but it will gradually decrease towards the central bank’s target owing to widening economic slack and as the effect of administrative price increases and past currency depreciation wear off. Stronger growth will reduce unemployment from its current rate of 8.5%.

    • Australia

      Economic growth is projected to pick up to 3% by 2018. The decline in resource-sector investment will tail off and the non-resource sector will be supported by a steady increase in household consumption and investment as wages and employment rise. Further falls in unemployment will help reduce inequality and are not expected to generate strong inflationary pressures.

    • Austria

      After four years of disappointing growth, economic activity picked up in 2016. It has been supported by a fiscal reform that boosted household disposable income, a catch-up of investment and solid job creation, especially among elderly, women and immigrants. These factors will continue to support growth in 2017 and, to a lesser extent, in 2018.

    • Belgium

      Economic growth is projected to rise only slightly over the next two years. Sluggish real wage growth will hold back private consumption, although lower taxation of labour will support employment. Investment is moderate, despite high profit margins and favourable financial conditions. Consumer price inflation is projected to be stable at under 2%.

    • Brazil

      The economy is emerging from a severe and protracted recession. Political uncertainty has diminished, consumer and business confidence are rising and investment has strengthened. However, unemployment is projected to continue rising until 2017 and decline only gradually thereafter. Inflation will gradually return into the target range.

    • Canada

      Economic growth is projected to increase to 2.3% in 2018. As contraction in the resources sector slows, activity in the rest of the economy is projected to strengthen. Non-energy exports should continue to benefit from stronger export market growth and earlier exchange rate depreciation. Consumer price inflation should pick up to around 2% as the effect of falling energy prices fades and excess capacity is gradually eliminated.

    • Chile

      Economic growth moderated in 2016, reflecting weaker commodity prices and external demand, while consumer and business confidence have been fragile. Growth is projected to edge up in 2017 and 2018 as a somewhat stronger global economy underpins a gradual recovery in investment and private consumption. As the effects of past currency depreciation wear off, inflation will fall into the central bank’s tolerance range.

    • China

      Economic growth is being supported by stimulus, but is set to edge down further to 6.1% by 2018. At the same time, risks are rising. The economy is undergoing transitions on several fronts. Private investment will be reinvigorated by the removal of entry restrictions in some service industries, but held back by adjustment in several heavy industries. Housing prices are again rising fast in the bigger cities, but working off housing inventories in smaller cities will take time. Consumption growth is set to hold up, especially as incomes rise and urbanisation continues. Reductions in excess capacity will ease downward pressure on producer prices but consumer price inflation will remain low. Import demand for goods will be damped by on-shoring, while services imports, in particular tourism, will grow rapidly. Exports will be held back by weak global demand and loss of competitiveness.

    • Colombia

      Economic growth is projected to pick up in 2017 and 2018, driven by stronger external demand and a recovery in agriculture following the end of El Niño. The current account deficit remains high, but is projected to narrow gradually as the sharp peso depreciation contains imports and spurs non‑traditional exports. Inequalities remain high despite a slight decline in unemployment.

    • Costa Rica

      The economy is projected to continue to expand at a strong pace. Growth will be driven by robust household consumption and increased exports due to stronger demand in the United States. Investment will be led by public infrastructure planned in the coming years. Inflation is starting to pick up and will return to the central bank's target range of 2-4% at the end of 2016.

    • Czech Republic

      Stable economic growth is projected for 2017 and 2018. Solid labour demand will push unemployment towards its lowest rate in the last two decades, accelerating wage and supporting consumption. Investment was cut sharply in 2016 due to the transition in EU funding programmes, but is projected to rebound in 2017. Rising cost pressures will push consumer price inflation to the 2% target during 2017.

    • Denmark

      Economic growth is projected to gradually strengthen to 1.9% in 2018 fuelled by investment and exports. Household consumption growth will remain robust, backed by employment growth, higher real wages and rising property prices. Both residential and business investment will pick up due to low interest rates and increasing capacity utilisation.The current account surplus will remain sizeable.

    • Estonia

      GDP growth is projected to gain momentum in 2017 and reach 2.9% in 2018, mainly driven by domestic demand. Private consumption will remain robust and public investment will pick up, sustained by EU funds. Despite a favourable business environment and good financing conditions, private investment will recover only slowly. Exports will strengthen backed by increasing external demand. However, maintaining price competitiveness will be challenging due to increasing labour costs.

    • Euro area

      Economic growth is projected to remain subdued. Despite supportive monetary conditions, investment weakness will persist, reflecting low demand, banking sector fragilities and uncertainties about European integration. High unemployment and modest wage growth will hold back private consumption, while exports will be hampered by soft global trade and by weaker growth in the United Kingdom following the Brexit referendum. Inflation is set to rise very gradually. Across euro area countries, major differences in growth and unemployment prospects will persist.

    • Finland

      Rising private consumption and investment growth have pulled the economy out of recession. However, output growth is projected to remain sluggish over the coming years, as domestic demand growth is projected to weaken again, although export growth will rise significantly as external demand edges up and competitiveness improves. Unemployment will decline modestly and inflation will pick up only slowly.

    • France

      GDP growth is projected to edge up to 1.6% by 2018, as tax cuts and faster job growth support stronger private consumption. Business investment should also pick up owing to tax reductions and low interest rates. In turn, the unemployment rate should continue to gradually fall, thanks to lower social security contributions, hiring subsidies and significant upscaling of training available to jobseekers. Inflation will remain low, as slack persists.

    • Germany

      Economic growth is projected to remain solid, as a robust labour market, low interest rates and a mildly expansionary fiscal stance underpin consumption and residential investment. Demand from emerging market economies and euro area countries is expected to strengthen only slowly, holding back business investment. The unemployment rate will remain at historic lows. The current account surplus will fall somewhat but will remain high.

    • Greece

      Growth has rebounded in the second half of 2016 and is projected to gain strength in 2017 and 2018 as structural reforms start to bear fruit, the conclusion of a policy review with creditors raises business and consumer confidence and the economic and political environment stabilises. Exports of services are underperforming because of structural rigidities and capital controls (which particularly affect the export revenue from the shipping industry). Employment is projected to increase but unemployment remains far too high.

    • Hungary

      Growth should pick up in 2017 as new infrastructure projects are launched in the context of the new cycle of EU structural funding, before moderating in 2018. Private consumption should remain the main growth driver, given projected employment gains, in part supported by still large public works schemes, and faster wage growth. Increasing unit labour costs and weak markets will cut export growth.

    • Iceland

      Economic growth is strong with continued expansion in tourism, robust private consumption and favourable terms of trade. Steep wage gains, employment expansion and large investments are fuelling domestic demand. The capital controls introduced during the financial crisis are being lifted.

    • India

      With projected annual growth of 7.5% in 2017-18, India will remain the fastest growing G20 economy. Private consumption will be supported by the hike in public wages and pensions and by higher agricultural production, on the back of a return to normal rain fall. Private investment will revive gradually as excess capacity in some sectors diminishes, infrastructure projects mature, corporates deleverage, banks clean their loan portfolios, and the Goods and Service Tax (GST) is implemented.

    • Indonesia

      GDP growth has been high and is set to edge up in 2017 and 2018. Government infrastructure spending continues to underpin economic activity, and both private consumption and private investment are showing signs of firming. The current account deficit is projected to be stable.

    • Ireland

      Economic growth is projected to moderate gradually. The economy, particularly exports and investment, is already being slowed by the prospect of Brexit. Nonetheless, the Irish economy will continue to expand on the back of solid domestic demand and strong employment and wage growth.

    • Israel

      The 2016 pick-up in growth should continue, reaching 3¼ per cent in 2017-18. Support from slight budgetary easing, very low interest rates and measures to support the low-paid should continue to stimulate domestic demand and employment. However, the ongoing weakness of the international environment and the impact of exchange rate appreciation on foreign trade are projected to hold back export growth.

    • Italy

      The economy will grow by 0.9% in 2017 and 1% in 2018. Despite stronger job gains, private consumption growth has weakened following rising uncertainty and declining consumer confidence. The large stock of non-performing loans and the uncertain recovery keep hampering banks' loan disbursements, hindering the recovery of investment. Low growth in Italy’s export markets and geopolitical tensions are restraining exports.

    • Japan

      Economic growth is projected to reach 1.0% in 2017 before slowing to 0.8% in 2018, boosting headline inflation to 1¼ per cent by the end of 2018. With three supplementary budgets in 2016, fiscal consolidation is pausing, helping Japan to cope with the impact of the yen appreciation. Private consumption is projected to continue rising in the context of labour shortages and the historically high level of corporate profits.

    • Korea

      Economic growth continued at a moderate pace in 2016, supported by a supplementary budget and record low interest rates. Growth is projected to edge up from 2¾ per cent in 2016-17 to 3% in 2018. Inflation is projected to converge to the central bank's 2% target by 2018, and the current account surplus to remain large at 6½ per cent of GDP.

    • Latvia

      Economic growth is projected to pick up strongly as the disbursement of new EU funds increases investment and the recovery in Russia increases exports. Household consumption will remain robust, supported by continued wage growth, although unemployment will remain high. Wage growth is set to exceed productivity growth, which will hold back the improvement of export performance.

    • Lithuania

      Economic growth is projected to rise to 2.8% by 2018, as investment benefits from low real interest rates and a gradual recovery in export markets. Consumption growth will hold up following a series of increases in the minimum wage. Inflationary pressures will mount as wages rise in response to a further decline in the unemployment rate.

    • Luxembourg

      Economic growth is projected to remain robust, due to ongoing supportive monetary conditions, dynamic domestic demand and a rebound in financial sector activity, which will foster exports. Inflation is projected to rise as slack diminishes and wages are pushed up by the next round of indexation, due at the beginning of 2017.

    • Mexico

      Economic activity has been resilient to sharply lower oil prices, weak world trade growth and monetary policy tightening in the United States. Domestic demand remains the main driver of economic activity, supported by recent structural reforms that have cut prices to consumers, notably on electricity and telecoms services. Growth will be held back in 2017 and 2018, mostly through investment and consumer confidence, following uncertainties about future US policy, although the economy could benefit from stronger import demand from the United States.

    • Netherlands

      GDP growth is projected to remain broad-based and steady at around 2%. Private consumption will benefit from improving labour market conditions. The housing market will strengthen further on the back of low interest rates. Wages are set to accelerate as unemployment continues to decline, while inflation will increase gradually from its low level. The current account surplus is expected to remain high despite firm domestic demand and lower gas exports.

    • New Zealand

      Recent strong economic growth is projected to moderate to less than 3% in 2018. Both net migration and expenditure on the Canterbury earthquake rebuild are expected to slow gradually, slowing domestic demand, especially construction activity. The latest earthquake will entail rebuilding investment, but this is not included in the projection because it is too early to judge the economic effects. Growth will continue to be driven by tourism, with dairy price increases providing a further boost to incomes through the terms of trade. Inflation is likely to rise but remain below the mid-point of the official 1‑3% target range.

    • Norway

      Economic growth will strengthen gradually until 2018 supported by higher private consumption and a rebound in non-oil investment, helped by better global prospects and a weaker currency. The pace of decline in petroleum investment is set to slow. The unemployment rate should peak in 2016, whereas inflation will edge down as the impact of the exchange rate depreciation abates and economic slack continues.

    • Poland

      GDP growth is projected to strengthen to around 3% annually in 2017-18, thanks to higher social transfers, low interest rates and rising disbursements of EU funds. Increasing disposable income and consumption, the switchover to the new budgetary period for EU funds and diminishing spare capacity should lead to an acceleration in investment. Stronger aggregate demand is expected to underpin a return to modest inflation.

    • Portugal

      GDP growth is projected to remain subdued, at about 1¼ per cent in 2017 and 2018. High corporate leverage and a fragile banking sector will hold back private investment and still high unemployment will restrain consumption growth. As economic slack will persist, inflation will remain low.

    • Russia

      After two years of recession, the economy will return to growth in 2017, as higher real wages boost private consumption and lower interest rate support investment. However, structural bottlenecks continue to hinder further diversification of the economy. The strength of the recovery will also remain dependent on the rebound of oil prices. The poverty rate, which increased from 11% in 2014 to 13% in 2015, will progressively decline as the labour market strengthens and inflation slows down.

    • Slovak Republic

      Strong economic growth is set to continue, reaching 3.8% in 2018. An improving labour market will underpin household spending. Investment is expected to recover, as a slowdown in projects financed by EU funds in 2016 will be compensated by other new public infrastructure spending and stronger business investment. Exports will continue to benefit from the expansion in the automotive sector, which is ramping up production.

    • Slovenia

      Economic activity is projected to gather pace in 2017 and 2018. Private consumption will accelerate on the back of employment gains and faster real wage growth. Investment will pick up as renewed EU structural funds bolster infrastructure investments, firms react to capacity constraints, and housing construction responds to higher property prices. Inflation is set to increase as economic slack disappears during 2018.

    • South Africa

      Economic growth is projected to rebound in 2017 and strengthen further in 2018, driven by household consumption and investment. In particular, the improvement in electricity production removes bottlenecks and should boost confidence and therefore investment, provided that political uncertainties dissipate. Rising production costs, together with the earlier rand appreciation should weigh on exports.

    • Spain

      The Spanish economy has grown strongly in 2016, led by domestic demand spurred by easy monetary policy in the euro area and a fiscal stimulus. The expansionary phase is expected to continue in 2017 and 2018, with domestic demand leading the recovery, albeit at a slower pace as some factors that have contributed to boost consumption, such as low oil prices and lower taxes, will recede. Inflation will gradually pick up as the effects of low oil prices diminish, but pressures will remain moderate due to still high unemployment.

    • Sweden

      Economic growth has been strong, but is projected to decline. Shortages of qualified labour and constructible land will slow residential investment, while uncertainty about global demand will slow business investment. Modest real wage gains will continue to damp consumption. The unemployment rate is levelling off as difficult-to-hire low‑skilled workers make up a rising share of jobseekers. Labour market tightening will help lift inflation gradually.

    • Switzerland

      Economic growth is rising but will remain moderate as the global outlook remains subdued. The labour market has been resilient, and the recent modest unemployment increase should be reversed by 2018. Interest rates are projected to remain low, helping to revive domestic demand. Deflation is ending as the currency has stabilised. The huge current account surplus will persist.

    • Turkey

      GDP growth is estimated to have slowed to under 3% in 2016, but is projected to pick up gradually to around 3¾ per cent by 2018. The Turkish economy continues to face geopolitical headwinds and unsettled political conditions, after having weathered a coup attempt in July and engaged in military operations in Syria.

    • United Kingdom

      The Brexit referendum vote has reduced growth prospects and increased volatility, as reflected by the large currency depreciation. Monetary policy has mitigated the immediate impact of the shock by stabilising financial markets and shoring up consumer confidence. This projection assumes the United Kingdom will operate with a most favoured nation status after 2019, but there is considerable uncertainty about this, which will increasingly weigh on growth, and in particular private investment, including foreign direct investment. Higher inflation is projected to hit households’ purchasing power and to reduce corporate margins, weakening private consumption and investment. As growth slows, the unemployment rate is projected to rise.

    • United States

      Economic growth is set to strengthen in 2017 and 2018, as an assumed fiscal stimulus boosts the economy and the effects of dollar appreciation, declines in energy investment and a substantial inventory correction abate. Employment has risen steadily, although the pace is expected to ease somewhat in 2017. A pick-up in wages will further support growth, offsetting somewhat sluggish external demand.

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  • Statistical Annex

    This annex contains data on key economic series which provide a background to the recent economic developments in the OECD area described in the main body of this report. Data for 2016 to 2018 are OECD estimates and projections. Data in some of the tables have been adjusted to conform to internationally agreed concepts and definitions in order to make them more comparable across countries, as well as consistent with historical data shown in other OECD publications. Regional aggregates are based on time-varying weights. For details on aggregation, see OECD Economic Outlook Sources and Methods.

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