Avoid overheating

Click on the globe for Key Economic Forecast & Indicators

The economic expansion has continued to gather momentum, broadening from buoyant domestic demand to exports. Even though the economy has not yet entered the most intensive phase of the large-scale aluminium-related investment projects and the labour market is still relatively weak, a sizeable external deficit and inflation pressures have re-emerged.
Further substantial interest-rate increases will be needed to prevent a recurrence of the overheating that took place at the turn of the century. A tight fiscal stance during the investment boom is essential, as it would alleviate the burden on monetary policy to safeguard price stability without the need for excessively high interest rates, upward pressure on the exchange rate and a squeeze on the exposed sector of the economy. Planned tax cuts should therefore be postponed.
Population (000s), 2003289
Area (000 sq km)103
GDP (Billion USD), 200310.6
Life expectancy at birth (Women, Men), 2002 82.3, 78.5
Total labour force (000s), 2003162
Government typeConstitutional Republic
Indicators% change unless otherwise indicated
GDP growth5.95.24.8
Consumer price index3.13.93.9
Short-term interest rate (%)
Unemployment rate (%)
General government financial balance (% GDP)
Current account balance (% GDP)-8.5-11.0-11.6
Source: OECD© OECD Observer No 245, November 2004

Economic data


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