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2004 OECD Economic Outlook, Volume 2004 Issue 2

image of OECD Economic Outlook, Volume 2004 Issue 2

OECD's December 2004 assessment of economic developments and prospects.  In addition to the regular economic assessments and statistical information, this issue includes articles examining oil price developments and savings behaviour and the effectiveness of fiscal policy.

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Regaining Momentum Despite Oil Turbulence

Since the 2001 slowdown, the world economy has moved in fits and starts and economists as well as the general public are now longing for a smooth and sustained recovery, undisturbed by chronic geopolitical risks or abrupt gyrations in oil prices and financial markets. Although economic fortunes have been contrasting over the past few quarters, with the United States forging ahead, East Asia slowing but from a rapid pace, and Continental Europe plodding along, households seem to have been lacking confidence OECD-wide. This pervasive sense of uncertainty has proved somewhat contagious since after a year of record growth in world trade, business confidence has fallen back to just above the historical average in the United States and Europe, dashing hopes that GDP would keep growing above trend over the next few months. Compared to cautiously upbeat assessments that could be made even two months ago, this turnaround ...

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