This Selected Issues paper analyzes the wage moderation in the Netherlands. Wage growth has been subdued in the Netherlands despite tighter labor market conditions in recent years. Besides various cyclical factors, rising labor market flexibility may have contributed to the wage moderation in the Netherlands. Like other advanced economies, slower productivity growth and lower expected inflation are important drivers to the wage moderation in the recent years. In addition to that, remaining slack in the labor market also weighed on wage growth. Going forward, wages are expected to grow faster given higher expected inflation, foreign wage spillovers, and tightening labor market.
This 2015 Article IV Consultation highlights that Finland’s exports have suffered owing to the declines of Nokia and the paper industry, compounded by weak external demand, especially from the euro area and Russia. The current account and fiscal balances have deteriorated, with the 2014 fiscal deficit breaching the Stability and Growth Pact’s 3 percent of GDP criterion. A modest recovery is projected to begin in 2015 and gradually strengthen in 2016. However, in absence of further reforms, growth is likely to remain much lower than pre-crisis. Weaker-than-expected growth in key trade partners would be a drag on exports, and spillovers from an external financial shock would create tighter financial conditions, with negative effects on output.
This Selected Issues paper examines Germany’s growth record in 1992–2001 and analyzes how future performance might be enhanced. The paper focuses on the longer-term strains on the public finances. It reviews Germany’s external competitiveness, which deteriorated substantially in the wake of unification, and concludes that, by the beginning of the current decade, competitiveness had been largely restored. The paper also examines the recent slowdown in credit, which has gone beyond what might be expected on cyclical grounds.