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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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Japan

The economy recovered from a pause in the latter half of 2004 with strong growth in the first half of 2005 despite a number of headwinds. The expansion is led by private domestic demand, underpinned by strong corporate profits and a reversal of the declining trend in employment and wages. A number of indicators suggest that the economy has finally completed the post-bubble adjustment, allowing output to grow at a rate of around 2% in 2006-07.

The Bank of Japan’s policy of quantitative easing should continue until inflation is high enough to make the risk of renewed deflation negligible. The government should accelerate the pace of fiscal consolidation given the faster than expected GDP growth. A broad structural reform programme is needed to boost potential growth in the context of rapid population ageing. While the enactment of the Japan Post privatisation bills is a welcome step, effective and rapid implementation of the bills is needed to realise the economic benefits of this reform.

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