OECD Economic Outlook

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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 1

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01 juin 2016
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9789264257870 (PDF) ; 9789264257887 (EPUB) ;9789264257863(imprimé)
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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.

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  • Editorial: Policymakers: Act now to break out of the low-growth trap and deliver on our promises

    Policymaking is at an important juncture. Without comprehensive, coherent and collective action, disappointing and sluggish growth will persist, making it increasingly difficult to make good on promises to current and future generations.

  • General Assessment of the Macroeconomic Situation

    Eight years after the financial crisis, the recovery remains disappointingly weak. Global GDP growth is projected to be 3% in 2016, unchanged from last year, with only a modest improvement foreseen in 2017. Global trade growth also remains very subdued. Many emerging market economies (EMEs) have lost momentum, with sharp downturns in some, especially commodity producers. The upturn in the advanced economies remains modest, with growth held back by slow wage gains and subdued investment. Low commodity prices and accommodative monetary policies continue to offer support in many economies, albeit punctuated by periods of tightened and volatile financial conditions, especially early in the year. All this culminates in growth rates much weaker than anticipated a few years ago and well below pre-crisis norms. Moreover, such a prolonged period of slow growth has damaged the longer-run supply-side potential of economies, via the scarring effect of extended unemployment, foregone investment and the adverse impact of weak trade growth on productivity.

  • Promoting Productivity and Equality: A Twin Challenge

    Economies become more prosperous when output per worker rises. Since the early 2000s, however, productivity growth has declined in many advanced countries. The slowdown in productivity has been particularly pronounced since the global financial crisis.

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  • Ouvrir / Fermer Cacher / Voir les résumés Developments in Individual OECD and Selected Non-Member Economies

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    • Australia

      Output growth will gradually strengthen towards 3% in 2017. Adjustment to declining resource-sector investment will continue. Growth in the non-resource sector will pick up, aided by dollar depreciation and a steady increase in household consumption. Further falls in the rate of unemployment are not expected to generate strong inflationary pressures and will help reduce inequality.

    • Austria

      A gradual recovery is underway. For the first time since 2011, growth is projected to exceed 1% in 2016 and to strengthen further in 2017. The recent tax reform will boost private consumption. Investment growth has turned positive and is expected to strengthen further on the back of historically low interest rates and low oil prices.

    • Belgium

      Economic growth will slow down in 2016 as fiscal consolidation and wage moderation curb private consumption. In addition, the terrorist attacks in Brussels and Paris in winter have reduced activity, for example in the tourism and restaurant sectors. Activity will gradually accelerate and become more broad-based as firms’ profit margins improve and better financial conditions boost investment. A reform that shifted taxes from earned income to other bases will reduce labour costs and so raise employment. Exports will strengthen as growth picks up in Europe. Inflation will continue to increase, following the rise of indirect taxes in 2016 and as economic slack shrinks.

    • Brazil

      The deep recession is set to continue in 2016 and in 2017 against the backdrop of high political uncertainty and ongoing corruption revelations that are undermining consumer and business confidence, leading to a continuous contraction in domestic demand. As the economy shrinks, unemployment is set to rise further. Inflation will gradually return into the target range as the effects of administrative price increases and past currency depreciation wear off and economic slack widens.

    • Canada

      Economic growth is projected to strengthen in 2016 and reach 2.2% in 2017. As the contraction in the resource sector slows, activity in the rest of the economy is projected to gain traction. Non-energy exports should continue to benefit from the earlier depreciation and strengthening export market growth. Consumer price inflation is projected to rise to around 2% as the effect of falling gasoline prices fades and excess capacity is gradually eliminated.

    • Chile

      Economic growth is projected to moderate further in 2016, reflecting weak commodity prices, tighter financial conditions and fragile consumer and business confidence. Activity will improve in 2017 as confidence starts to rebound and the global economy strenghtens, underpinning a gradual recovery in investment and private consumption. Once the effects of the past currency depreciation have worn off, inflation will return to within the central bank’s tolerance range.

    • China

      Economic growth is set to edge down further, from 6.5% in 2016 to 6.2% by 2017. Large-scale infrastructure spending will only partly make up for slowing business investment as overcapacity is being worked off in several industries. Real estate investment is bottoming out, but housing inventories remain sizeable. Consumption is projected to stay buoyant. The reduction in excess capacity will ease the downward pressure on producer prices, but consumer price inflation will remain low.

    • Colombia

      Economic growth will continue to moderate in 2016, reflecting weak external conditions, low commodity prices and a slowdown in internal demand, but it will strengthen to 3% in 2017, as external demand recovers and the government’s infrastructure agenda is implemented. The current account deficit remains high and inflation is accelerating due to exchange rate depreciation and rising food prices resulting from El Niño. As the effects of these shocks dissipate, inflation will gradually come down in 2017.

    • Costa Rica

      After weak growth last year, activity is set to accelerate in 2016-17. Domestic demand is projected to be the main driver, but exports will also recover as world markets regain momentum. The unemployment rate is likely to remain above 9%. After falling temporarily into negative territory at the end of 2015, inflation will slowly return to the central bank’s target as the economy strengthens.

    • Czech Republic

      GDP growth increased strongly in 2015, partly due to EU-financed public investment. Financial conditions and income growth will continue to support domestic demand, but falling public investment is weighing on growth in 2016. Although gains in market share are likely to be smaller than in recent years, stronger demand from European countries will support export growth. Headline inflation remains low, but robust wage growth and fading effects of food and energy price falls will push inflation to the 2% target by end‑2017.

    • Denmark

      Economic growth is projected to rise to nearly 2% in 2017, driven mainly by domestic demand. Private consumption will be supported by growth in real incomes, related to higher employment and real wage gains, as well as by increasing property prices. Exports are projected to rebound somewhat after a very weak 2015.

    • Estonia

      Economic growth is projected to strengthen gradually, boosted by private consumption. Exports and investment will gain some momentum in 2017 as economic activity strengthens in European trading partners. Shortages of skilled labour will push up wages and raise consumer price inflation somewhat.

    • Euro Area

      The ongoing moderate recovery is projected to continue, with GDP growth reaching 1.7% in 2017. Sustained monetary stimulus and low oil prices will support domestic demand, but the slowdown in emerging market economies will weigh on exports. As a result, the large external surplus will decrease slightly. The decline in unemployment should also continue at a modest pace, but differences across euro area countries will persist. Continued cyclical slack and some second-round effects from cheaper energy will hold inflation well under the ECB’s target of just below 2%.

    • Finland

      The economy is recovering slowly on the back of strengthening domestic demand. However, exports remain weak, the recent pick-up in private consumption was partly due to temporary factors and uncertainty, both domestic and global, is high. Hence, output growth is projected to remain sluggish and unemployment, which is currently stabilising, to stay high.

    • France

      Economic growth is projected to reach 1.4% this year and 1.5% in 2017 thanks to lower energy prices, tax cuts on labour and businesses and persistently low interest rates. Employment will increase, supported by lower social security contributions and new hiring subsidies, but will lead to only a gradual fall in unemployment. Inflation will remain low, as slack will persist to the end of the forecast period.

    • Germany

      Economic growth is projected to remain solid, as a robust labour market and low oil prices underpin private consumption, while low interest rates and the housing needs of refugees boost residential investment. Business investment will strengthen somewhat, as capacity utilisation and employment rise. Demand for German exports in emerging market economies and euro area countries are expected to recover gradually. The refugees will gradually join the labour force. Robust domestic demand growth will reduce the current account surplus, which will nevertheless remain very large.

    • Greece

      Growth is projected to turn positive in the second half of 2016, after a deep and prolonged recession, as recovering confidence boosts investment and consumption and improved competitiveness raises exports. Unemployment is still very high, which is causing serious social problems, but is now gradually receding. The huge public debt burden is undermining investment and confidence, making some form of additional debt relief (for example, extending maturities) crucial.

    • Hungary

      Growth is projected to moderate in 2016 due to a temporary contraction in public investment as a new cycle of EU structural funds commences, but should pick up again in 2017. Private demand should remain solid and employment should continue to expand, supported in part by the still large public work schemes. The disappearance of economic slack and the one-off effects of lower energy prices will push up inflation during 2017.

    • Iceland

      The economy continues its robust expansion, driven by strong private consumption growth, a terms-of-trade boost and a boom in tourism. Large investments in energy-intensive projects and continued strong wage growth are fuelling domestic demand. The capital controls introduced during the financial crisis will begin to be lifted in 2016.

    • India

      Economic growth is projected to remain strong, hovering around 7.5%. Private consumption will be boosted by expected large increases in public wages and declining inflation. Investment will pick up gradually as excess capacity fades, deleveraging continues for corporations and banks, and infrastructure projects mature.

    • Indonesia

      GDP growth is set to strengthen in coming quarters. The government’s plan to ramp up infrastructure spending has now gained traction, boosting confidence. In addition, the central bank has eased rates over three consecutive months. As a result, both private consumption and investment are showing signs of picking up. However, external demand remains weak.

    • Ireland

      The Irish economy is projected to continue its robust expansion in 2016 and 2017. Both exports and business investment, which surged due to temporary impetus by multinational enterprises, will moderate but remain solid. Activity in the domestic sector will remain firm and employment will grow steadily. Wage growth will be strong as the labour market tightens. Household consumption will be solid, supported by labour earnings growth and tax cuts.

    • Israel

      Growth is projected to remain at 2½ per cent in 2016 before rising to 3% in 2017. An expansionary budget and continuing low interest rates and oil prices should support domestic demand and employment. Exports have been very weak of late but should pick up with a gradual strengthening of foreign demand, albeit damped by the shekel's appreciation.

    • Italy

      GDP growth is expected to reach 1% in 2016 and 1.4% in 2017. Private consumption continues to be the main driver of the recovery. Employment growth has temporarily slowed but real income gains and pent-up demand are supporting household spending. Investment is turning around, providing some support to domestic demand, but constraints on the availability of bank credit still impede a faster investment recovery.

    • Japan

      Output growth has been slowed by a drop in demand from China and other Asian countries and by sluggish private consumption. Growth is projected to be around 0.7% in 2016 and 0.4% in 2017, as labour and capacity shortages and record-high corporate profits support business investment, employment and wages. The impact of the consumption tax hike planned for 2017 is expected to be partially offset by a pick-up in exports.

    • Korea

      Output growth is projected to be 2.7% in 2016, reflecting weak external demand and fiscal tightening, with inflation around 1%. With stronger external demand in 2017, growth is projected to pick up to about 3%, in line with potential. The current account surplus will remain high at 7½ per cent of GDP.

    • Latvia

      The economy is projected to recover from the temporary weakness in the last quarter of 2015 and first quarter of 2016 related to the expiry of EU funds and the sharp decline of economic relations with Russia. Strong wage growth underpins solid spending by private households. Uncertainty is holding back investment, but this will be gradually overcome once the recovery of the euro area generates healthier export markets.

    • Lithuania

      GDP growth is projected to gain momentum in 2016 and 2017, thanks to a recovery in key export markets. Domestic investment will accelerate as confidence strengthens and real interest rates stay low. At the same time, improving labour market conditions and high real wage growth should support private consumption and put pressure on inflation.

    • Luxembourg

      Economic growth is projected to stay robust, at close to 4% in both 2016 and 2017, owing to strong domestic demand and exports of financial services. The next round of backward-looking wage indexation, which is expected in the first half of 2017, could boost inflation.

    • Mexico

      Despite lower oil prices and softer external demand, GDP growth is expected to strengthen to 3% in 2017, reflecting the structural reforms implemented by the government. The depreciation of the peso reinforced gains in Mexican export market share and resilient domestic demand continues to support economic activity.

    • Netherlands

      Economic growth is projected to remain sound, at around 2%, and broad-based. Private consumption will benefit from fiscal stimulus in 2016 and improving labour market conditions. The strengthening of the housing market and brighter business prospects continue to support investment. Inflation is projected to increase somewhat, but to remain low. The current account surplus will fall further on the back of lower gas exports and firming domestic demand, albeit from a high level.

    • New Zealand

      Economic growth is projected to moderate somewhat to 3% in 2016 and 2.7% in 2017. The impact of lower dairy prices on exports and an end to stimulus from the earthquake-related rebuild will curb activity, although the slowdown in construction will be attenuated by expansion elsewhere in response to high immigration. Immigration will also sustain growth in private consumption. Inflation will rise but stay below target.

    • Norway

      Economic activity is projected to be weak in 2016 as petroleum investment falls, with spillovers on non-oil sectors. Output growth will pick up gradually as non-oil investment strengthens with improved external demand, aided by currency depreciation, and as new oil-investment projects commence. Unemployment will peak in 2016. Inflation will drift down as currency-depreciation effects wane and economic slack continues.

    • Poland

      Real GDP growth is projected to increase from around 3% in 2016 to 3½ per cent in 2017. Rising employment and wages, higher social transfers and low energy prices will support faster consumption growth. Easy credit conditions, and a pick-up in infrastructure investment supported by EU funds in 2017, will also underpin stronger investment. Consumer price inflation is projected to gradually rise, as energy prices stabilise and the labour market tightens.

    • Portugal

      Moderate growth is projected for 2016 and 2017. Private consumption will strengthen mildly due to lower unemployment, a higher minimum wage and reversals of public sector pay cuts. However, job creation will be too weak for consumer spending to expand at its current pace beyond 2016. High corporate leverage and weak bank conditions have been holding back investment. In 2017, investment will partly recover and somewhat compensate the loss of momentum in consumption.

    • Russia

      The sharp fall in global oil prices has resulted in a prolonged recession. Reduced export earnings are cutting imports and investment and severely limiting fiscal policy. The depreciation of the ruble has raised prices, squeezed real incomes, especially of the poorest, and reduced private consumption. Unemployment will continue to rise. Growth is projected to turn positive in 2017 as falling inflation and rising real incomes strengthen domestic demand. The recovery will nevertheless be slow, amid a lack of structural reforms and uncertain prospects for oil prices.

    • Slovak Republic

      After accelerating in 2015, economic activity should slow somewhat as the boost from exceptional absorption of EU funds fades. Nonetheless, annual growth is projected to remain above 3%, led by persistently strong domestic demand. Household consumption will strengthen further, driven by improved labour market outcomes, low inflation and rising disposable income. Lower public investment will be partly compensated by new foreign direct investments in the automotive sector.

    • Slovenia

      Economic growth is projected to slow in 2016 owing to sluggish global trade and temporarily weaker public investment as EU-financed projects slow down. Growth will pick up in 2017 as a strengthening labour market boosts private consumption, and improved financial conditions and stronger balance sheets of companies enhance private investment. Inflation will remain low due to remaining slack in the economy. Unemployment will fall over the projection period.

    • South Africa

      Drought and electricity constraints slowed economic growth in 2015, and tighter financial conditions and low confidence will weaken it further in 2016. Investment will grow modestly, deterred by continuing lack of electricity and an uncertain policy environment. Growth will broaden and pick up again in 2017 once new electricity capacity comes on stream.

    • Spain

      The recovery is projected to continue in 2016 and 2017, although at a more moderate pace. Low borrowing rates for businesses and households will keep providing support. Some of the positive forces, including lower oil and other commodity prices and a mildly positive fiscal stimulus, will boost consumption in 2016 but then fade in 2017.

    • Sweden

      Healthy output growth is set to continue, reaching 3.4% in 2016, with further expansion of employment and gradually declining unemployment. Recent wage settlements will lead to only moderate increases in household income, and private consumption will grow somewhat more slowly than output. Inflationary pressures are projected to remain subdued. Business investment will increase further, and high housing demand will continue to support residential investment.

    • Switzerland

      After a weak 2015, economic growth is projected to strengthen gradually as domestic demand receives support from negative interest rates and increasing real wages. With the currency stabilising over recent months and oil prices recovering, consumer prices should turn up during 2017. After a recent rise, unemployment will start to fall in 2017, but the outsized current account surplus will persist.

    • Turkey

      GDP growth is projected to remain close to 4% per annum in 2016 and 2017. A sharp hike in the minimum wage and social transfers in early 2016 will boost private consumption. However, the associated increase in labour costs, despite subsidies to alleviate them in the first year, will hurt competitiveness and exports. As the short-run impact of the jump in household income wanes, growth is projected to edge down in 2017.

    • United Kingdom

      Growth has slowed, and is projected to be 1¾ per cent in 2016. Uncertainty about the outcome of the end-June 2016 referendum, which could lead to an exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union (Brexit), has undermined growth. This projection assumes that the United Kingdom remains in the European Union, in which case growth is projected to pick up in the second half of 2016 and then stabilise in 2017. The unemployment rate has fallen to around 5%. The current account deficit has reached 7% of GDP, the highest level on record, increasing vulnerabilities.

    • United States

      Despite a recent soft patch reflecting transitory factors, output remains on a moderate growth trajectory sustained by mutually-reinforcing gains in employment, income and household spending. Steady job gains have pushed down the unemployment rate, and recently the labour force has risen. Moderate output gains are likely to resume as these influences wane, with solid domestic demand growth counteracted by relatively sluggish gains in external demand.

    • 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 2015 to 2017 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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