Resumo mucho un reciente informe de Jean-Philippe Cotis (OECD Chief Economist) de Septiembre de 2006 titulado «What is the economic outlook for OECD countries?”:

The recent data for the first half of 2006, indicating a much strongerthan-expected performance in Europe and a significantly weaker one in the United States and Japan, should not be merely extrapolated going forward. Indeed, following this catch-up, growth is likely to slow somewhat in Europe whilst the US and Japanese expansions regain some momentum. As concerns inflation, price stability is still some way off in the United States and, in the opposite direction, in Japan. The risks surrounding this scenario continue to include the evolution of oil prices, which oscillated between $70 and close to $80 during the summer. Another prominent set of risks relates to long-term interest rates and real estate, against the backdrop of cooling housing markets in North America.

In the euro area, activity accelerated in the second quarter, partly catching up with upbeat business confidence indicators. Several transitory factors helped, notably the soccer World Cup and time-bound subsidies in the construction sector in Germany. Domestic demand in the euro area benefits from the pickup in employment growth in the two largest economies, and area–wide unemployment has fallen to below 8% of the labour force for the first time since 2001. Given the stronger-than-expected momentum in the first half, year-average GDP growth is now slated to reach 2.7%.

With most measures of inflation edging up, central banks across the G7 countries and beyond have lifted their policy rates since spring, but they face very different stages of the economic and interest rate cycles. In the euro area, the recovery now seems sufficiently robust for a return towards a neutral monetary stance, but gradually so, since unit labour costs remain well in check.

On the public finance front, dynamic activity and rising asset prices have contributed to positive revenue surprises. As a result, the fiscal deficit in the United States and in a number of other OECD countries should come in below what had been budgeted. In particular, in several euro area members, the general government deficit will pass under the 3% of GDP mark. In general, however, the extra receipts should not be spent, since the pace of fiscal consolidation during this cyclical recovery has so far failed to live up to the public finance challenges stemming from population ageing and other medium-run pressures.


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