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2004 OECD Economic Outlook, Volume 2004 Issue 1

image of OECD Economic Outlook, Volume 2004 Issue 1

OECD's June 2004 assessment of economic developments and prospects.  In addition to the regular economic assessments and statistical information, this issue includes articles examining whether housing and mortgage market arrangements explain different degrees of economic resilience shown by OECD economies, through what mechanisms the US external deficit could adjust, to what extent stock market gyrations and one-off measures distort traditional measures of the fiscal stance, and how structural reform could enhance income convergence in Central European countries.

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Hungary

Growth slowed somewhat in 2003, to just below 3 per cent, but is projected to pick up progressively this year and next on the back of rapid export and investment growth to about 3¾ per cent by 2005. Inflation has picked up since mid-2003 and a further increase is expected up to the middle of this year, largely because of rises in regulated prices and value-added-tax rates. Postponement of entry into the Economic and Monetary Union to 2009 or 2010 is now envisaged, given a disappointing budget deficit outcome for 2003. Improvements to budget processes and a stronger commitment to sustainable spending cuts -- especially as 2006 is an election year - are needed to avoid a repeat of last year’s overshoot and further delay in reaping the gains from euro-area membership...

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