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2019 OECD Economic Outlook, Volume 2019 Issue 1

image of OECD Economic Outlook, Volume 2019 Issue 1

The OECD Economic Outlook is the OECD's twice-yearly analysis of the major economic trends and prospects for the next two years. The Outlook puts forward a consistent set of projections for output, employment, prices, fiscal and current account balances.

Coverage is provided for all OECD member countries as well as for selected non-member countries. This issue includes a general assessment, a special chapter on the effects of digitalisation on productivity and a chapter summarising developments and providing projections for each individual country.

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General assessment of the macroeconomic situation

Global growth has slowed abruptly over the past year, with the weakness seen in the latter half of 2018 continuing in the early part of 2019 amidst persisting trade tensions. Trade and investment have moderated sharply, especially in Europe and China, business and consumer confidence have declined and policy uncertainty remains high. At the same time, financial market conditions have eased, helped by moves towards a more accommodative monetary policy stance in many economies, and favourable labour market conditions continue to support household incomes and spending in the major economies. Sizeable fiscal and quasi-fiscal easing is occurring in a handful of countries, including China, but in most economies fiscal policy is offering only limited support for growth. Overall, given the balance of these different forces acting, global GDP growth is projected to ease from 3½ per cent in 2018 to a sub-par rate of 3.2% this year, before edging up to 3.4% in 2020 (). This slowdown is widespread, with growth set to moderate this year in almost all economies. Trade growth is projected to weaken further this year, to around 2%, the weakest rate since the global financial crisis and checking the speed at which global output growth can rebound from its current soft pace. Inflationary pressures are set to remain mild, with few strains on capacity in most economies.

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