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China’s new leadership has signalled that it is time to step up the pace of reform, building on the remarkable economic and social achievements to date while recognising the pressing need for deep structural changes. Indeed, far-reaching reforms are necessary for continuing to raise living standards and well-being, even as China is poised to become the world’s largest economy by around 2016.
China enjoys a more stable and balanced growth and is now definitely on course to become the world’s largest economy around 2016. But major reforms are still needed to ensure a fourth decade of rapidly converging living standards and a greener economy, said OECD Secretary-General.
Despite a glum global economic context China is set to continue to catch up fast, propelled by ongoing urbanisation. Environmental pressures are on the rise, however, and greening growth has become a top policy priority.
Growth in Unit labour costs (ULCs) in the OECD area accelerated to 0.6% in the fourth quarter of 2012, compared to 0.2% in the third quarter. Overall, growth in labour compensation per unit of labour input slowed marginally (to 0.3% compared to 0.4% in the third quarter). But this was more than offset by a significant slowdown in labour productivity (minus 0.3% compared to plus 0.2% in the previous quarter).
France has avoided the most severe impacts of the global economic crisis and turmoil in the euro area, but must now take action to boost competitiveness and create jobs, according to the OECD’s latest Economic Survey of France.
Luxembourg is a rich and fast-growing country. However, inequality of disposable incomes has trended up modestly over the past decades and relative poverty has risen reflecting mainly the rapid growth of high incomes.
Under the Universal Credit reform, the main means-tested benefits except the Council Tax Benefit will be pooled into one single benefit with one single taper rate. The reform will give people better incentives to work, reduce complexity and contribute to reducing poverty.
Employment has risen by more and unemployment has risen less than expected, given the path of output. Nevertheless, long-term and youth unemployment and involuntary part-time work are high. A polarised labour market risks worsening income inequality, which is high by OECD standards, despite a recent and likely temporary decline.
A simple econometric framework is presented linking current account balances of euro area countries to intra and extra euro area competitiveness, cyclical positions, fiscal positions and the oil price.