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Slovenia achieved strong economic growth leading to a marked catch up with the EU15 during the last decade. This dynamic growth has been interrupted by the global recession, adversely affecting Slovenian exports and banks’ refinancing possibilities. As the economy recovers, efforts to achieve real convergence need to be renewed.
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.
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;
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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’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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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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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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To address the current issues, this chapter starts by looking at simple ways of estimating the possible impact of recent increases in real energy and capital costs on potential growth.