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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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Norway

Despite some easing of activity, bottlenecks have persisted. Monetary conditions are tight and profits have been squeezed, but tax cuts and solid pay rises continue to boost consumption. Mainland output growth could strengthen from 1½ per cent in 2002 and 2003 to 2½ per cent in 2004. The unemployment rate is expected to stabilise at 4 per cent with inflation remaining subdued.

The authorities should not ease fiscal policy beyond the room for manoeuvre provided by the new fiscal guideline and should offset spending overruns by expenditure cuts elsewhere. Pension reforms are needed urgently to safeguard the long-run sustainability of public finances.

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