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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Activity bottomed out in the first half of 2002, but the recovery is still hesitant and seems likely to become well-established only in 2003, when private domestic demand is projected to pick up. Inflation is expected to slow further. The current account deficit, which has narrowed in 2002, is expected to widen gradually as activity gains momentum.

Economic policies were tightened in 2002, in the context of a weaker peso and stalling disinflation. This stance needs to be maintained to keep disinflation and fiscal consolidation on target and retain market confidence. Implementation of the structural agenda, including the electricity and tax reforms, would reduce business uncertainty and improve growth prospects.

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