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Though labour market outcomes have improved markedly in past years, some challenges remain such as low labour force participation of the elderly, low employment rates of youth and rising labour market dualism.
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Luxembourg’s economy is in fine shape. Growth has been robust over the past three years, thanks to the expansion of the financial sector, while other business sectors also enjoyed buoyant activity. This has led to impressive employment gains benefitting both job seekers of the Grand-Duchy and cross-border workers living in neighbouring regions of Belgium, France and Germany.The international financial crisis is, however, now taking
Slovenia belongs to the group of new EU member countries, which have given a high priority to fiscal prudence. This both stabilised the economy and paved the way for entry to the EU in 2004 and adoption of the euro in 2007. It also created room to counteract the current weakening of the economy. But fiscal policy has to cope with four main challenges: i) ensuring a return to fiscal consolidation after the current economic downturn;
Slovenia’s product market regulation appears more stringent than in some neighbouring countries, though less restrictive than in some transition economies. In key service sectors (financial services, energy and telecommunication), low contestability linked to state involvement and strong market concentration may have deterred inward FDI.
The United Kingdom is in a deep recession. The recovery is likely to be slow and depends on further improving conditions in credit markets. Financial market regulation and supervision should be overhauled, and policies should be put in place to promote fiscal consolidation.
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Portugal has made significant progress in fiscal consolidation and has launched important structural reforms to modernise the economy and enhance growth. After a weak performance from 2001 to 2005, output growth recovered in the past two years and, in 2007, it reached 1.9%, still insufficient to close the large income gap with wealthier OECD countries. Reaping the full benefits from globalisation in terms of faster and more
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Canada’s economic performance has been among the best in the OECD as a sound policy framework has enabled the country to take advantage of strong global growth and soaring terms of trade. The economy has adapted well to recent shocks, as labour and capital have shifted rapidly from manufacturing towards the resource and service sectors, with strong net job increases. Overall supply has benefited from rising participation rates.
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Poland has been catching up to the rest of the OECD more quickly in the past two years, thanks to strong growth performance. Substantial job creation has followed years of stagnation. Nonetheless, the economic boom has failed to draw inactive people into the labour market, and unemployment has plunged to below sustainable levels. The short-term outlook is clouded mainly by strong excess demand pressures and rising inflation, despite
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The Finnish economy has performed very well in recent years, with strong GDP growth in a low-inflation environment, rising employment and a sound fiscal position. Strong social safety nets and high education standards put the country in a good position to benefit from the opportunities of globalisation. However, unemployment remains high compared with the best performing countries, despite rising labour shortages, pointing to
Despite the great progress France has made in opening its markets for goods and services, and in strengthening the overall framework for competition, there are still regulatory barriers to entry in many sectors, particularly in retail trade and various professional services. The emergence of real competition in the retail market for gas and electricity and in telecommunications (provision of high speed Internet through a fibre optics