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2006 OECD Economic Outlook, Volume 2006 Issue 1

image of OECD Economic Outlook, Volume 2006 Issue 1
OECD's twice-yearly assessment of the major economic trends and policies in member countries and selected non-members. This issue covers the outlook to the end of 2007.  Together with a wide range of cross-country statistics, the Outlook provides a unique tool to keep abreast of world economic developments. This issue also contains a special chapter on Future Budget Pressures Arising from Spending on Health and Long-Term Care.

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Australia

Following a weak second half of 2005, due to a subdued export performance and weak dwelling investment, economic activity is now strengthening again. With business investment remaining buoyant and export volumes eventually picking up, output is likely to accelerate in 2006 and 2007 to about 3 and 3½ per cent, respectively. The recent monetary tightening should be sufficient to counter emerging inflationary pressures. Despite tax windfalls related to the commodities boom, the general government surplus is expected to fall slightly. Any further unexpected windfalls through 2006-07 should be allowed to accumulate in higher surpluses rather than add to demand. The effectiveness of the welfare-to-work programme in raising labour force participation would be greatly enhanced if it was applied to the stock of beneficiaries rather than just new claimants.

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