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.
Belgium has effected a remarkable fiscal adjustment, best illustrated by the decline in its public debt. While benefiting from an appreciable decline in interest rates, most of the underlying consolidation reflected a considerable increase in the tax burden, one of the highest in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. This paper analyzes the social transfer system in Belgium. Belgium has a very accessible and equitable health care system. The system is characterized by high input levels and service volumes.
The phenomenon of substantial peacetime budget deficits over the past20 years has been traced to the burden of entitlements, a slowdown ineconomic productivity, and demographic and macroeconomic shifts in theindustrial countries. Though smaller and structurally different, deficitsin developing countries have also become worrisome. Most economists agreethat measures to reduce government spending are imperative, particularlythrough restructuring entitlement programs.