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.

English Also available in: French, German


After stagnating in 2002, real GDP growth is set to recover only slowly. The economy will receive positive impulses from exports and stockbuilding in 2003 but growth will be limited by a loss in competitiveness and by fiscal tightening. Unemployment is projected to rise, leading to somewhat lower wage increases, but the labour market will remain relatively tight. Inflation is projected to fall to 2 per cent by 2004, reflecting lower import prices and a decline in unit labour costs.

Sustained wage moderation is essential to restore competitiveness, especially in view of the risk that pension fund losses might necessitate a further increase in contribution rates. Incentives to work need to be strengthened, while higher expenditure on education, which is relatively low in comparison with other OECD countries, as well as on innovation, could contribute to better overall performance.

English Also available in: French

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