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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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Portugal

After the sharp 2003 recession, a gradual export-led recovery is expected to get under way in 2004. The pace of growth is likely to remain among the weakest in the OECD in 2004, and the negative output gap would remain among the highest in 2005. Against this background and with the unemployment rate still high, the inflation differential vis-à-vis the euro area is expected to remain quite narrow. Despite continuing consolidation efforts, the fiscal deficit is likely to exceed the 2.8 per cent target in 2004, unless additional measures are taken. Structural measures to contain public spending  could have visible effects starting in 2005, but implementation should be stepped up and further action will be needed to contain spending pressure over the medium term...

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