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  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: The stability and resilience of the economy has been impressive and labour and product markets are among the most flexible in the OECD, but structural economic performance judged against a range of indicators can be further improved.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Markets
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Publication Date: 01-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: The performance of the UK economy has been impressive in recent years, underpinned by wide-ranging structural reforms and sound macroeconomic policy frameworks. The OECD projects growth above potential in 2004 and 2005, with unemployment remaining low, but instability stemming from the housing market is a risk. Monetary policy should continue to tighten to reduce future inflationary pressures and the risk of a further sharp rise in house prices from becoming a potential source of fragility. At the same time, the current rigidity of house supply should be eased by reforming land planning, while a reform of the regressive council tax could help to reduce the risk of housing market instability. Over the projection period, government spending will continue to rise as a share of GDP, reflecting the government's ambitious targets in priority areas. Slowing spending growth may be warranted on efficiency grounds: bottlenecks have become apparent, while time is needed to pilot new innovative approaches. More generally, getting incentives right is essential to meet the ambitious service targets. Slowing spending growth would also benefit the public finances. An income-contingent contribution scheme for university graduates is an equitable way forward; other forms of user charges not compromising equity concerns could improve efficiency. Both are preferable to raising taxes. Trend growth has already been boosted by the sharp decline in structural unemployment, but measures are still needed to reduce the number of inactive, especially those on incapacity benefit. While educational performance of students has risen, policy needs to further address the lack of vocational skills as one element in a strategy to reduce the productivity gap with the best performers elsewhere. In this respect, competition is also important. The government has strengthened the competition framework and active enforcement along with the market studies of the Office of Fair Trading and the Competition Commission's market investigations should help to ensure that markets become more competitive. However, planning restrictions and market power are a problem in the retail sector and industry regulators will need to remain vigilant in the electricity, gas and telecom sectors. Ensuring macroeconomic stability, while addressing the remaining weaknesses through further structural reforms offers the prospect of continuing strong economic performance.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Environment, Human Rights, International Organization, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom
  • Publication Date: 03-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Gross Domestic product: Volume series, seasonally adjusted except for Czech Republic and Portugal; Leading indicator: A composite indicator, based on other indicators of economic activity (employment, sales, income, etc.), which signals cyclical movements in industrial production from six to nine months in advance; Consumer price index: Measures changes in average retail prices of a fixed basket of goods and services; Current balance: $ billion; not seasonally adjusted except for Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States; Unemployment rate: % of civilian labour force – standardised unemployment rate; national definitions for Czech Republic, Iceland, Korea, Mexico, Poland, Switzerland and Turkey; seasonally adjusted apart from Turkey; Interest rate: Three months, except for Greece (twelve months) and Turkey (overnight interbank rate); .. not available Sources: Main Economic Indicators, OECD Publications, Paris, December 1998. For Hungary, PIB*: CSO and current balance*: Central Bank.
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom, Turkey, Poland, Australia, Switzerland, Mexico
  • Publication Date: 01-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Gross Domestic product: Volume series, seasonally adjusted except for Czech Republic and Portugal; Leading indicator: A composite indicator, based on other indicators of economic activity (employment, sales, income, etc.), which signals cyclical movements in industrial production from six to nine months in advance; Consumer price index: Measures changes in average retail prices of a fixed basket of goods and services; Current balance: $ billion; not seasonally adjusted except for Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States; Unemployment rate: % of civilian labour force – standardised unemployment rate; national definitions for Czech Republic, Iceland, Korea, Mexico, Poland, Switzerland and Turkey; seasonally adjusted apart from Turkey; Interest rate: Three months, except for Greece (twelve months) and Turkey (overnight interbank rate). not available Sources: Main Economic Indicators, OECD Publications, Paris, December 1998. For Hungary, PIB*: CSO and current balance*: Central Bank.
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Turkey, Poland, Australia, Switzerland, Korea, Mexico
  • Publication Date: 11-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Gross Domestic Product: Volume series, seasonally adjusted except for Czech Republic and Portugal Leading Indicator: A composite indicator, based on other indicators of economic activity (employment, sales, income, etc.), which signals cyclical movements in industrial production from six to nine months in advance Consumer Price Index: Measures changes in average retail prices of a fixed basket of goods and services Current Balance: $ billion; not seasonally adjusted except for Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States Unemployment Rate: % of civilian labour force – standardised unemployment rate; national definitions for Czech Republic, Iceland, Korea, Mexico, Poland, Switzerland and Turkey; seasonally adjusted apart from Turkey Interest Rate: Three months, except for Greece (twelve months) and Turkey (overnight interbank rate) ..
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom, Turkey, Poland, Australia, Switzerland, Korea, Mexico, Iceland, Czech Republic