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The State of Public Finances 2015

Strategies for Budgetary Consolidation and Reform in OECD Countries

image of The State of Public Finances 2015

For most countries in the OECD, 2015 is the seventh or eighth year of dealing with the budgetary consequences of the economic and financial crisis. These years have been marked by challenges of fiscal retrenchment of a scale and nature unprecedented in modern times. Previous OECD publications have tracked the fiscal policy responses adopted by OECD governments during the early years of the crisis (2007-2012). This book takes stock of how these responses have evolved and in recent years, up to 2014/15. Two points are apparent from the outset: the response to the crisis has had repercussions for virtually every aspect of budgetary governance; and there are clear lessons for governments about the conduct of fiscal policy – including in its institutional aspects – that should inform future decisions and the agenda of budgetary reform.

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United States

Output growth paused in early 2015, weighed down by the stronger dollar and adverse weather. Nonetheless, the labour market has continued to improve, as evidenced by job gains in the private sector and a falling unemployment rate. Supportive monetary conditions and lower energy prices should underpin a sustained pick-up in aggregate demand as the fiscal policy drag dissipates and ongoing increases in household wealth lift consumer spending and residential construction.

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