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2003 OECD Economic Outlook, Volume 2003 Issue 1

image of OECD Economic Outlook, Volume 2003 Issue 1

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 addition to the themes featured regularly, this issue contains five analytical chapters addressing the following questions: the telecommunications sector,  sources of divergence in growth trends among the major economies, recent patterns and developments in foreign direct investment,  and whether further trade and regulatory policy reforms would affect foreign direct investment flows and economic integration among OECD countries.

English French, German

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Belgium

Economic growth is likely to remain weak in the first half of 2003, but to rise thereafter, reaching 3 per cent in 2004 as the international economy recovers and business investment picks up. Inflation is likely to fall to 1¼ per cent in 2004, reflecting significantly lower increases in unit labour costs and favourable import price developments.

Wage increases should be limited to levels provided for in the accord for 2003-04 so as to maintain international price competitiveness. The government should not allow the budget to fall into deficit so as not to erode the credibility of its debt-reduction strategy; this strategy entails running budget surpluses until 2030 so as to pre-fund the budget costs of population ageing, which will begin to build as from 2010.

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