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2006 OECD Economic Outlook, Volume 2006 Issue 2

image of OECD Economic Outlook, Volume 2006 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-2008. 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 a special chapter entitled Has the rise in debt made households more vulnerable?, which addresses the following questions:

  • What factors explain the observed rise in household debt in many OECD countries?
  • Have asset price movements offset the impact on households’ financial positions?
  • Are some sectors or groups particularly vulnerable to adverse asset market or income developments?

English French, German

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Has the Rise in Debt made Households more Vulnerable ?

Over the past decade, household debt has risen to record levels in a number of OECD countries. The large size of these debt run-ups, coupled with, in several instances, changes in the characteristics of some of the relevant instruments, are estimated to have raised the sensitivity of the household sector to changes in interest rates, asset prices and incomes.1 In this sense, the household sector may have become more vulnerable to adverse shifts in these variables.

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