Unemployment should fall

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Having slowed in the second half of 2004, the upswing should pick up again in 2005 when the effects of oil price increases begin to wane. Both foreign and private domestic demand remain robust so that employment growth is likely to pick up during 2005, and unemployment should fall.
Productivity growth and continued wage moderation will allow core inflation to remain low. Public finances are set to improve slowly, in part reflecting inclusion of a large capital transaction as revenue in the 2005 budget. But the 2005 deficit may exceed government targets. Nevertheless, an improvement in public finances should follow from reforms in central government spending control and healthcare expenditure management. These reforms will require sustained efforts to change underlying incentives if good intentions are not to be undermined. Having shown that lower employers’ contributions can improve employment prospects, the government should seek to extend these and other labour market reforms.
Population (000s), 200359 767
Area (000 sq km)549
GDP (Billion USD), 20031 757.5
Life expectancy at birth (Women, Men), 2001 82.9, 75.6
Total labour force (000s), 200327 215
Government typeRepublic
Indicators% change unless otherwise indicated
GDP growth2.12.02.3
Household savings ratio10.29.99.6
Consumer price index2.31.81.8
Short-term interest rate (%)
Unemployment rate (%)
General government financial balance (% GDP)-3.7-3.1-2.9
Current account balance (% GDP)
Source: OECD© OECD Observer No 245, November 2004

Economic data

GDP growth: -1.8% Q1 2020/Q4 2019
Consumer price inflation: 0.9% Apr 2020 annual
Trade (G20): -4.3% exp, -3.9% imp, Q1 2020/Q4 2019
Unemployment: 8.4% Apr 2020
Last update: 9 July 2020

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