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2002 OECD Economic Outlook, Volume 2002 Issue 2

image of OECD Economic Outlook, Volume 2002 Issue 2

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 detail.

In addition to the themes featured regularly, this issue contains four analytical chapters addressing the following important questions: the deterioration in budgetary positions in most OECD countries, raising the labour force participation of older workers,  the benefits that OECD countries could achieve from undertaking reforms to promote product market competition, and inflation rates in some of the larger, slow-growing economies have not declined sufficiently to offset higher rates elsewhere in the euro area.

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Austria

Economic activity has been slowly picking up since the end of 2001. However, the expansion has mainly been supported by firmer export growth, as domestic demand has remained weak and imports have fallen. Growth should firm from mid-2003 as world trade recovers, but unemployment is unlikely to begin falling before 2004.

The general government budget, which was balanced in 2001, is likely to be in deficit this year by about 1½ per cent of GDP, and improve only marginally in 2003. A durable path towards a balanced budget requires both the full implementation of planned fiscal consolidation measures at all levels of government and the replacing of one-off revenue measures with lasting savings.

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