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NEWS BRIEF

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Country roundup Australia should improve the quality of vocational education and training to help young people into work, according to a new OECD report. www.oecd.org/australia/ The Netherlands should step up its policies to attract and retain highly skilled migrants to help address labour shortages and bolster its position as a knowledge-based economy. www.oecd.org/netherlands/ Denmark has long been a generous provider of development aid, especially to the neediest countries, and is known for giving high-quality and flexible support. However, it faces challenges from a reduction of its aid budget and fast-rising refugee costs, according to the latest DAC Peer Review of Denmark. www.oecd.org/denmark/

Latvia is 35th OECD member country Latvia deposited its instrument of accession to the OECD Convention on 1 July 2016, thereby becoming a full member of the organisation. Visit www.oecd.org/latvia/

See www.oecd.org/employment/

pesticides and meet ambitious renewable energy targets, according to the latest

See www.oecd.org/skills/

according to the latest OECD Economic Survey of Turkey. www.oecd.org/turkey/ France has improved its environmental performance over the last decade, by lowering greenhouse gas emissions, reducing some air pollutants and cutting

Turkey’s economy has proven remarkably resilient, though further action can be taken to raise productivity and advance the shift to a more balanced and sustainable growth path that will boost living standards for all,

Mexico has become a frontrunner in making

its use of fresh water. Further effort will be needed to reduce pollution by nitrates and

Environmental Performance Review of France.

to a new OECD report.

Income inequality is worsening within many countries, and regional disparities in housing, safety and air quality inside countries are also growing wider. Although regional gaps are narrowing in education and Internet access, disparities in GDP per head, disposable income, safety and air pollution are widening in many, according to OECD Regions at a Glance 2016.

www.oecd.org/mexico/

See www.oecd.org/regional/

www.oecd.org/france/ Japan must make fighting international bribery a priority. www.oecd.org/japan/

government data publicly accessible, and must use this to foster innovation, according

Consumer prices, selected areas

As for trade, total (seasonally adjusted) international merchandise trade of the G20 grew modestly in the second quarter of 2016, the first increase since early 2014, but remains significantly below post-crisis highs. Exports rose by 1.5% and imports by 2%, following seven and eight consecutive quarterly falls, and mirroring the rise in oil prices.

Labour markets are recovering but wage growth remains weak, according to the latest OECD Employment Outlook issued in July. With the global economy stuck in a low growth trap, better use of skills and structural reforms to unblock activity are needed to boost productivity, support job creation, improve job satisfaction and raise living standards.

Poor skills severely reduce a person’s chances of finding decent work, and have a major impact on how the benefits of economic growth are shared within societies. In countries where adults tend to have poor skills, it is difficult to introduce productivityenhancing technologies and new ways of working, which affects living standards, according to a new OECD report, Skills Matter: Further Results from the Survey of Adult Skills.

Chile has taken steps to address the rising environmental pressures from its rapid economic growth, strengthening its environmental institutions and introducing new instruments, including a carbon tax. It now needs to thoroughly implement policy measures to stem the threat to its land, air and water, the OECD’s second Environmental Performance Review of Chile warns. www.oecd.org/chile/

month, falling most in Spain and Italy, by 0.3 and 0.2 percentage points to 19.6% and 11.4% respectively, while increasing by 0.2 percentage points to 10.3% in France.

Other stories

July 2016, % change on the same month of the previous year % OECD total 3.0 2.0 0.8 1.0 0.0 -1.0 -2.0 -3.0 -4.0 -5.0 -6.0 -7.0

1.8

All items Food

0.1

Energy All items non-food, non-energy

Plus ça change… E-commerce is a marvellous thing. And while it may be suffering from hype today, I see it as a harbinger of the reality of tomorrow. “E-commerce: From hype to reality”, by Donald J Johnston, former Secretary-General of the OECD, in Issue No 224, January 2001

-7.8

OECD Observer No 307 Q3 2016

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OECD Observer No 307 Q3 2016