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Our economic growth models have not equitably distribute benefits. Inequalities were brewing under the surface prior to 2007 and increased almost everywhere even during periods of sustained economic growth. We need to reverse this trend, said OECD Secretary-General.
Consumer prices in the OECD area rose by 1.8% in the year to February 2013, compared with 1.7% in the year to January 2013. This slight increase in the annual rate of inflation masks opposing movements in energy and food prices.
Global economic activity is picking up, but the continuing crisis in the euro area is delaying a meaningful recovery, the OECD said in its latest Interim Economic Assessment.
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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.
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.