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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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Spain

Output accelerated during the second half of 2003, driven by buoyant domestic demand.Inflation has drifted down in recent months partly due to the appreciation of the euro, while the inflation differential with the euro area has fallen to ½ percentage point. Activity should continue to firm over the projection period and should grow above potential despite the negative drag of the external sector. With monetary conditions likely to remain relaxed and the output gap closing, the authorities should avoid any fiscal stimulus. This would imply a widening budget surplus over the projection period because of positive cyclical effects. Labour market reforms should aim at increasing wage flexibility, which would also boost productivity performance...

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