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2003 OECD Economic Outlook, Volume 2003 Issue 2

image of OECD Economic Outlook, Volume 2003 Issue 2

This issue of the OECD Economic Outlook analyses the major trends that will mark the next two years. It  covers the outlook to the end of 2005 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. Three analytical chapters look at fiscal policy and its influence on economic activity, fiscal relations across levels of government, and  crubing the growth in government spending and raising its  cost effectiveness.

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Ireland

GDP growth plummeted from 7 per cent in 2002 to an estimated 1¾ per cent in 2003, as exports were hit by the appreciation of the euro and investment declined sharply. Growth is set to recover to around 3½ per cent in 2004 and nearly 5 per cent in 2005. With the unemployment rate remaining close to 5 per cent, inflation should decelerate to 3 per cent over the next two years. To contain inflationary pressures, competition and regulatory policy should focus on the sheltered sectors (notably construction and business services). Tax incentives that boost the demand for housing in an already overheated residential market should be cut, which would also enable resources to be reallocated towards urgently needed infrastructure development...

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