Focus on the global economy

This page features the latest OECD data, recommendations and policy advice on the economic impacts of COVID-19 and the recovery, and includes a curated collection of earlier OECD economic content.

Too many jobs, not enough workers

R&D investment showing resilience

The biggest counterfeit customers

Latest economic insights

Co-creation

How did COVID-19 shape co-creation?

Working paper

Aid for Trade

Aid for Trade at a Glance 2022

Report

Financial planning

Financial planning and financial education for old age in times of change

Policy paper

Trade

Trade facilitation reforms worldwide : State of play in 2022

Policy paper

Tax revenue

Revenue statistics in Asia and the Pacific 2022

Report

sovereign borrowing outlook

OECD Sovereign Borrowing Outlook 2022

Report

INFLATION

Inflation in OECD area reaches 7.7% in February 2022

Data insights

TRADE & COVID

Global supply chains at work: A tale of three products to fight COVID-19

Policy response

OECD weekly GDP tracker

Tracking GDP growth in OECD and G20 countries

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23/09/2022
Chile’s economy recovered swiftly from the pandemic on the back of exceptionally strong policy support, which eventually led to a significant overheating of the economy. Inflation has risen amid buoyant private consumption, further aggravated by the Russian aggression on Ukraine. Monetary authorities have acted swiftly to contain inflation, and the fiscal stimulus is being withdrawn. Looking ahead, main challenges for boosting productivity and investment include strengthening competition, reducing regulatory barriers and spending more on research and innovation, while pressing social needs call for more attention to how incomes and opportunities are distributed. Around a third of the workforce is in informal work, which limits their access to social protection benefits. Ensuring a well-defined set of benefits for all, with no distinction between formal and informal workers, will be key. Expanding access to high-quality early childhood education would improve educational outcomes and allow more women to work. Environmental challenges and risks loom large, but also provide significant opportunities for the future. The current high fossil content of the energy matrix contrasts with Chile’s strong potential in renewable energy generation.SPECIAL FEATURES: RAISING PRODUCTIVITY, EXPANDING SOCIAL PROTECTION, REDUCING LABOUR INFORMALITY
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19/09/2022
Sound health management and supportive policies helped Korea emerge swiftly from the pandemic. The recovery is set to continue as pandemic-era restrictions on contact-intensive services are shelved, despite the Russia-Ukraine war raising inflation and highlighting the need to increase supply chain resilience. Reducing dependence on fossil fuels can boost resilience, but is also necessary to reach ambitious climate targets. Fiscal policy support will need to be scaled back and should focus on supporting people and business dynamism rather than firm survival. The productivity gap between small and large, highly productive companies is reflected in labour market dualities of income, job quality and social protection. Gaps in the social safety net largely follow the same fault lines, and a large share of elderly are left with very low retirement income. These inequalities spur fierce competition among young men and women to enter prestigious universities and good jobs and slows down youth’s labour market entry and family formation against a backdrop of a very low fertility rate.SPECIAL FEATURES: SOCIAL SAFETY NET, YOUTH EMPLOYMENT
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09/09/2022
Two years into the pandemic, economic activity has recovered faster than expected. However, the labour market recovery is still uneven across sectors and is threatened by the economic fallout from Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, which has generated the fastest growing humanitarian crisis in Europe since World War II, sending shockwaves throughout the world economy. The 2022 edition of the OECD Employment Outlook reviews the key labour market and social challenges for a more inclusive post-COVID‑19 recovery. It also examines the policies to address these challenges and the outlook ahead. Particular attention is given to frontline workers and groups lagging behind in this recovery (young people, workers with less education, and racial/ethnic minorities). The Outlook also addresses a number of long-standing structural issues that have a key relevance for labour market inclusiveness, such as employer market power and its labour market consequences, the role of firms in wage inequality, and the effect of working time policies on well-being and economic outcomes.
07/09/2022
The COVID-19 pandemic has critically tested OECD economies, with major differences in economic repercussions at the subnational level. The pandemic can be characterised as a combination of shocks to local economies: (i) a recession, (ii) a supply-side shock mirroring a natural disaster, and (iii) the economic and workplace adjustments accelerated by pre-existing megatrends (e.g. automation, green transition). This paper reviews the empirical evidence for effective policies from across the OECD to strengthen local economic resilience through support for people, firms and places. There is a strong need for effective policies in times of recessions, natural disasters and long-term structural change. Policies that strengthen economic resilience strongly overlap with policies for local productivity growth and vice-versa. Moreover, some policies aiming to increase resilience through adding redundancy in production or infrastructure can serve productivity in the long-term.
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25/08/2022
The COVID-19 crisis has weakened an already fragile economy. South Africa’s growth underperformed during the past decade: GDP per capita was already lower in 2019 than in 2008. Unemployment remains high, at around 35%, and youth unemployment even exceeds 50%. In the meantime, spending pressures are mounting to close the financing gap in health, infrastructure and higher education. To finance those needs while putting public finances on a more sustainable path, which is key to restore confidence, spending efficiency should improve and be accompanied with increased government tax revenues. In addition, the tax system could contribute further to reducing income and wealth inequalities. In the longer term, reviving productivity growth is key to lift living standards. Boosting productivity involves improving transport (road, port and rail) infrastructure, providing more stable electricity generation, fostering the quality of telecommunication networks, broadening access to higher education, as well as improving the business environment more generally.SPECIAL FEATURES: STRENGTHENING THE TAX SYSTEM AND BOOSTING PRODUCTIVITY TO IMPROVE LIVING STANDARDS
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25/08/2022
This paper discusses how countries’ vision for science, technology and innovation (STI) priorities has evolved through COVID-19. The analysis was conducted on a sample of 171 STI strategy documents from 11 countries that were released between 2013 and 2021. Depending on the context, these documents seek to build consensus, manage actors, communicate or signal directions for policy, or achieve internal organisational motives. Most of the documents that have emerged since the COVID-19 crisis focus on a dominant ambitious societal goal and specific technologies to implement that goal. For example, environmental sustainability is a shared goal across different countries’ STI strategies, but its specific meaning differs. Most countries’ STI strategies also identify digitalisation as an important tool to achieve other socio-economic goals. Inclusivity is prominent in agendas reflecting country-specific circumstance. Improving resilience is a shared priority and increased in prominence with the COVID-19 experience.
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19/08/2022
Co-creation – the joint production of innovation between combinations of industry, research, government and civil society – was widely used to respond to COVID-19 challenges. This paper analyses 30 international co-creation initiatives that were implemented to address COVID-19 challenges. Evidence on these initiatives was gathered based on structured interviews with initiative leaders. Existing co-creation networks enabled the rapid emergence of new initiatives to address urgent needs, while digital technologies enabled establishing new – and, where necessary, socially distanced – collaborations. Aside from funding initiatives, governments engaged actively in co-creation by granting access to their networks, advising on initiative goals and offering support to improve quick delivery. The role of civil society was important as well, and the socially impactful nature of research and innovation was a motivating factor for engagement. Harnessing a similarly strong motivation is an important driver of effective future co-creation endeavours also to address the challenges of the green transition.
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19/08/2022
Co-creation – the joint production of innovation between combinations of industry, research, government and civil society – was widely used to respond to the challenges raised by the COVID-19 pandemic. This paper describes 30 COVID-19 co-creation initiatives from 21 countries and three international cases. The template focuses on initiatives’ core characteristics, including information on key co-creation partners and their contributions, key outcomes as well as the initiatives’ size. The comparative evidence gathered through interviews with case study initiative leaders also describes what co-creation instruments were used, how networks leading to the collaboration were built, what type of cross-disciplinary co-operation took place, and what role governments played in the process and the procedures adopted to deal with the COVID-19 “exceptionality”, including the urgency of producing implementable solutions. The information gathered provides a basis for analyses on co-creation initiatives during COVID-19 and for drawing potential policy implications.
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03/08/2022
The UK economy recovered from the COVID-19 shock thanks to emergency support measures protecting jobs and incomes and a rapid vaccine rollout, but is slowing amid persisting supply shortages and rising inflation. Fiscal policy has to balance gradual tightening with providing well-targeted temporary support to households who are vulnerable to rising costs of living, supporting growth and addressing significant investment needs. Accelerating progress towards net zero is fundamental to enhance energy security. The United Kingdom is among world leaders in reducing domestic greenhouse gas emissions, has a strong institutional framework and a broad political consensus supporting the target to reduce net emissions to zero by 2050. Continuing progress towards carbon neutrality requires policy to match ambition. Expanding pricing instruments is an essential building block to reach targets, but can be even more effective if complemented by well-designed sectoral regulation and subsidies, and more acceptable if implemented once energy prices have started to come down from historically high levels. Policy reforms to support economic reallocation, compensation of low-income households and investment in green infrastructure and new technologies can stimulate productivity growth, contribute to reducing disparities across UK regions and increase public support for climate policy.SPECIAL FEATURE: REACHING NET ZERO
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27/07/2022
This report analyses the evolution of Aid for Trade flows in a context marked by crises of unprecedented magnitude, with significant impacts on trade and investment. Under the theme “Empowering Connected, Sustainable Trade”, it shows that Aid for Trade was an important tool in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, and can help address emerging challenges, such as the environmental and digital transitions while ensuring that no one is left behind. Recent data indicate that a shift is under way to put sustainability, including green transition and women’s empowerment, at the heart of Aid for Trade, and point to its potential to support an inclusive and sustainable recovery.
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25/07/2022
This annual publication compiles comparable tax revenue statistics for Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, People’s Republic of China, Cook Islands, Fiji, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Nauru, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Thailand, Tokelau, Vanuatu and Viet Nam. It also provides information on non-tax revenues for selected economies. Based on the OECD Global Revenue Statistics database, the publication applies the OECD methodology to Asian and Pacific economies to enable comparison of tax levels and tax structures on a consistent basis, both among the economies of the region and with other economies worldwide. This edition includes a special feature on strengthening tax revenues in developing Asia. The publication is jointly produced by the OECD’s Centre for Tax Policy and Administration and the OECD Development Centre, in co-operation with the Asian Development Bank, the Pacific Island Tax Administrators Association and the Pacific Community.
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22/07/2022
Online marketplaces matching third-party sellers with consumers are now key e-commerce channels globally. Despite their popularity and the benefits they bring to consumers, they do present a number of risks, for example when their third-party sellers engage in misleading marketing and fraud, or supply unsafe products. This report summarises results from a 2021 OECD survey of 28 countries and 15 platform businesses examining the role of online marketplaces in enhancing consumer protection. The report highlights a range of encouraging initiatives by many participating countries and online marketplaces to better protect consumers, often taken in co-operation with one another, but also identifies several key areas where more action is needed.
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22/07/2022
This paper considers recent trends in the financial landscape, such as pension reforms, the impact of the COVID-19 crisis and the growing digitalisation of finance, and discusses their implications for old age financial planning and financial education polices, looking at financial decision making both in preparation for retirement and during old age. Building on recent examples of financial education policies and programmes that seek to address these challenges, the paper puts forward policy considerations to help the development of financial education policies and programmes that support financial planning for old age in times of change.
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20/07/2022
The future is digital and enabled by globally interconnected and high-quality broadband networks. However, high-quality networks across the OECD are far from universal and applications across all sectors of the economy, from smart factories and hospitals to automated vehicles, are increasing the overall demand on networks and requiring them to evolve. Furthermore, to ensure everyone can participate in in this digital future, their expansion at affordable prices to un- and under-served areas needs to continue at pace. This report explores how surging demand is shaping future networks and identifies the four main technological trends that are driving this evolution. It then takes a closer look at measuring the quality of communication services delivered through those networks to inform policy making. Finally, it provides an overview of how policies and regulations are adapting to support the upgrade and expansion of high-quality broadband networks across the OECD.
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15/07/2022
The labour market recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic has been strong among advanced countries, partly reflecting massive and unprecedented policy support to workers and firms. This paper provides evidence and stylised facts about labour market tightening and labour shortages since the onset of the pandemic. Labour shortages have been widespread across countries, yet particularly in Australia, Canada and the United States; and across industries, yet particularly in contact-intensive ones like accommodation and food, but also manufacturing. This picture is to a good extent driven by cyclical factors: in tight labour markets, workers are more likely to switch for better job opportunities. But this paper argues, based on illustrative evidence, that other factors beyond the economic cycle may also play a role: the post-COVID-19 increase in labour shortages may partly reflect structural changes, in particular changes in preferences, as some workers may no longer accept low-pay and poor or strenuous working conditions.
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14/07/2022
Navigating beyond COVID-19: Recovery in the MENA Region reflects on the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on MENA countries and the potential changes it may bring to their reform agendas. It addresses not only the ongoing effects of the crisis, but also examines long-term consequences and identifies emerging new trends. The analysis was completed shortly before the start of Russia’s large-scale aggression against Ukraine, when signs that recovery was already faltering were observed across the world economy. Since then, global growth prospects have been further affected by the war. Still, the policy recommendations to build long-term resilience in MENA countries have not changed. On the contrary, they are all the more pertinent, as many of the challenges ahead come from structural factors. However, realistic strategies will depend on fiscal affordability.
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13/07/2022
What drives trust in government? This report presents the main findings of the first OECD cross-national survey on trust in government and public institutions, representing over 50 000 responses across 22 OECD countries. The survey measures government performance across five drivers of trust – reliability, responsiveness, integrity, openness, and fairness – and provides insights for future policy reforms. This investigation marks an important initiative by OECD countries to measure and better understand what drives people’s trust in public institutions – a crucial part of reinforcing democracy.
12/07/2022
This document explores two interrelated aspects of leveraging movable assets to facilitate access to finance: first, the implementation of collateral registries for movable assets, and second, the collateralisation of intangible movable assets. Both dimensions benefit from a case study approach. The report examines how these different instruments function and highlights the opportunities and challenges for making better use of them. It also outlines the role that policies can play in this regard.
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05/07/2022
Trade facilitation measures are key in offsetting some of the time and cost increases experienced by firms and consumers against a backdrop of continued supply chain disruptions. Through the lens of the updated OECD Trade Facilitation Indicators (TFIs), this paper assesses progress and challenges in trade facilitation reforms, including as these relate to the implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement. Since 2019, most progress occurred in improving the availability of trade-related information, simplifying documentary requirements, and automating and streamlining procedures. The TFIs also show significant gaps between the establishment of regulatory frameworks for trade facilitation and operational practices across all areas covered. Confirming digital trade facilitation measures introduced during the COVID-19 crisis can help close these gaps. There is also scope to build on COVID-19 border agency co-operation structures, and international co-operation more broadly, to enhance crisis responsiveness and resilience.
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04/07/2022
Slovenia’s strong post-pandemic recovery has been hit by strong headwinds from the war in Ukraine, higher energy prices, and supply chain bottlenecks. At the same time, the strong labour market performance has led to historically high employment, low unemployment and widespread labour shortages. Thus, inflation will remain high as growth slows. Looking further out, population ageing will lead to a smaller and older workforce, while the number of pensioners increases. Financing the fiscal costs of population ageing requires containing ageing-related spending increases in the pension, health and long-term care systems. Furthermore, sustaining growth and income convergence will increasingly rely on improving labour allocation, while supporting productivity growth through higher investments in new technologies, such as digitalisation. The successful digitalisation of the economy will have positive impacts on productivity growth and inclusiveness. An important element in any digitalisation strategy is to secure affordable and widespread connectivity. Moreover, the public sector’s digitalisation efforts will encourage households and firms to adopt such new technologies. This, however, depends on the education and training system’s ability to provide students at all levels and workers with better digital skills. SPECIAL FEATURE: ECONOMIC OUTLOOK; POPULATION AGEING; DIGITALISATION OF THE ECONOMY
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