2004 OECD Economic Surveys: Korea 2004

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Korea has recently been one of the fastest growing OECD countries, and in this report on its economy, OECD examines the key challenges Korea faces to sustain this growth.  The report carefully assesses macroeconomic policy, reform of the labour market and reform of the corporate and financial sectors. This edition’s special feature examines product market competition.

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Economic Prospects and Macroeconomic Policies

Korea is rebounding gradually from the downturn in the first half of 2003. Output growth at an 11 per cent seasonally-adjusted annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2003 suggests a strong recovery. However, the large gap between buoyant exports and still sluggish domestic demand, with private consumption still declining, indicates that a full-fledged recovery is not yet underway. On the other hand, there is not much slack in the labour market, where unemployment is at a low level and wage growth has been high. These conflicting signals make it exceptionally difficult to project the path of the recovery and the appropriate macroeconomic policies. This chapter begins by providing short-term projections ...

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