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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.

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Sweden

The economy lost steam in the second half of 2002 due to weak export performance and falling business investment. A recovery in exports should make for stronger growth over the course of 2003, and prospects look bright for next year as the international situation improves and investment picks up. Developments in the telecommunications sector remain a source of downside risk, whereas rising wage pressures may imply an upside risk to inflation.

The fiscal position is still sound, with structural surpluses of around 1¼ per cent of GDP. However, following the large tax cuts in 2002, further fiscal stimulus would not be helpful. The proposed measures to curb the number of sickness beneficiaries should be implemented without delay. Monetary policy should be tightened gradually from the second half of 2003 as activity quickens.

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