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2005 OECD Economic Outlook, Volume 2005 Issue 2

image of OECD Economic Outlook, Volume 2005 Issue 2
Twice a year, the OECD Economic Outlook analyses the major trends and examines the economic policies required to foster high and sustainable growth in member countries. Developments in major non-OECD economies are also evaluated. The present issue covers the outlook to end-2007. Together with a wide range of cross-country statistics, the Outlook provides a unique tool to keep abreast of world economic developments.  In addition to the themes featured regularly, this issue contains an analytical chapter addressing the recent run-up in house prices.

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Belgium

Developments in oil prices and in export markets have weighed on Belgium’s activity but, with these factors becoming more favourable, growth is projected to pick up progressively, reaching 2.3% in 2007. Employment growth is, however, unlikely to be strong enough to reduce the unemployment rate much from the current 8.4%. Headline inflation should fall back almost to the underlying rate of 1.6% by 2007.

Further fiscal consolidation measures, focusing on expenditure restraint, should be implemented to build on progress made in moving public finances towards a sustainable path. Reforms to lower benefit dependence and increase employment rates, especially for older and younger workers, are vital as they reduce the amount of consolidation required for the sustainability of public finances.

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