Thursday, April 24, 2014
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被忽视的增长乘数

普林斯顿—2010年4月,当全球经济开始从2008—2009年金融危机的冲击中复苏时,IMF的《世界经济展望》预测2010年全球GDP增长将超4%,并维持4.5%的年增长直到2015年。但该预测显然是太过乐观了。

事实上,全球增长出现了减速。在最新的《世界经济展望》中,IMF预测2012年全球GDP增长将仅为3.3%,2013年为3.6%。此外,增长前景的恶化之势在极快地蔓延。

预测误差的潜在原因有三:对金融危机后经济复苏所需时间的误判;对“财政乘数”(因财政紧缩导致的产出损失)的低估;以及对“世界贸易乘数”(随着经济收缩各国互拖后腿的倾向)的忽视。

总的来说,金融危机的严重性和影响得到了很好的预判。2008年10月的《世界经济展望》分析了经历系统金融压力之后的复苏,从中得出的教训被用在了后续预测中。

结果,对美国——家庭去杠杆过程仍在约束经济增长——的预测与实际只是略有不同。2010年4月的报告预测2011—2013年间的年增长率约为2.5%;当前预测则为略高于2%。

相反,财政乘数被严重低估了——这是《世界经济展望》最新认识到的一点。结果,对英国——其受到的金融部门压力与美国大体相同——的预测质量要差得多。

在2010年4月的《世界经济展望》中,IMF预测2012—2013年英国年经济增长率为近3%;目前的预测是今年GDP可能出现下降,明年大约也只能增长1%。早先的预测产生如此巨大的差异的原因可以归于英国当局和IMF对财政整合估计不足。

类似地,欧元区重债国(希腊、爱尔兰、意大利、葡萄牙和西班牙)的表现也远远不及预测,原因是大规模的支出削减和税收增加。比如,根据预测,今年葡萄牙GDP将增长1%;事实上,可能大降3%。欧盟委员会宣称,如此放缓反映了高主权违约风险而不是财政整合,这一观点已经被英国证明是错误的——市场认为该国的主权风险可以忽略不计。

世界贸易乘数没有被如此广泛地认识到,但它有助于解释为何增长减速如此普遍、如此持久。当一国的经济增长放缓时,它的进口会有所减少,从而影响出口国的增长率,并导致它们也减少进口。

欧元区一直处于全球赠正约束力的中心。欧元区各国彼此之间和对其他地区的贸易十分活跃,这些国家的减速导致了全球贸易量的大幅下滑,从而反过来抑制了全球增长。特别是,随着欧洲从东亚国家进口量的下降,东亚经济体的增长比去年和2010年的预测值低得多,不难预测,它们从世界其他地区的进口势头也大大减弱了。

全球贸易在稳步萎靡,过去六个月以来几无增长。增长预测中曾经的流行概念——出口将成为逃生通道——已不再可信。如今,这一概念已经来了个一百八十度大转弯:随着经济增长的停滞,贸易伙伴下降的进口需求导致了经济不景气的蔓延和深化。

全球贸易放缓的影响在德国最为明显。该国并没有家庭和企业负债过多的负担,财政状况也很健康。为了走出危机,德国利用了出口的快速增长——特别是来自无尽的中国需求的出口增长。但是,随着中国增长的放缓——部分是因为对欧出口下降——德国GDP预测值也被腰斩。此外,今年的增长基本已成定局,德国将陷入停顿,甚至有可能出现衰退。

在好光景时,一国增长带来的贸易能够提振全球增长。但是,在危机时,会出现相反的贸易效应。随着全球经济联系越来越紧密,贸易乘数也在扩大。

事实上,贸易溢出深远地影响着全球增长前景,只不过没有金融传染病那样显著和严重罢了。不能认识到这一点意味着出口——以及反过来的增长——预测将继续无法成为现实。预料中的明年全球贸易增长很可能不会发生。相反,各国政策错误和拖延将严重破坏全球各国的经济。

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  1. CommentedRoman Bleifer

    Most estimates are based on the essence on the extrapolation of the past for future periods. They work well enough in times of stability. But such predictions can not be taken into account to predict the fluctuations typical of periods of crisis. Much more accurate forecasts are built on an understanding of the qualitative character of the processes ( http://crisismir.com/analiticheskie-materialy/ekonomika/13-mirovoj-ekonomicheskij-krizis-prichiny-i-posledstviya-quo-vadis.html ). Attempts to counteract the crisis as the financial crisis has failed. Systemic problems of the world economy can not be solved alone financial instruments. In the global economy began to form a system of global production. It was as a system, not as a sum of national economies.

  2. CommentedProcyon Mukherjee

    Multipliers are different in every country.

    Ashoka Mody’s article is dedicated to the developed economies, while the developing like India’s story is more severe; a country with a predominantly young people coming into the labor force each year in numbers that the rest of the world would struggle to achieve, we have a growth conundrum that is muddled in lack of political will.

    To recast the multiplier in India, one would have to simply start with institution building, elimination of corruption and building governance structures to make any difference.

    But if one sector has to be singled out it is the core sector, which must be put back on track. A country which still has hundreds of thousands of villages lacking electrification, the power in the bulk of the electricity producing states is surplus! A country where thousands of miles must be connected by roads, the infrastructure companies cannot progress without land acquisition. And to top it all we have a coal sector, which continues to produce less and less as there is a policy lock-jam.

    Procyon Mukherjee

  3. CommentedZsolt Hermann

    The greatest reason for the prediction errors is that we simply refuse to see reality.
    Almost everybody as if by the wave of a magic wand entered a mass hypnosis, refusing to wake up, continuously repeating the by now "religious mantra" of "continuing growth", "return to growth", "recovery, stimulus", and so on...
    You cannot kick a dead horse and hope that it will carry you, the unnatural and unsustainable constant quantitative growth economic model is dead.
    People are still playing with the numbers, a little makeup here a little cosmetic surgery there, if nothing else works let us print more money like in a gigantic, virtual Monopoly Game.
    Humanity matured through evolution into a global, interconnected and interdependent system.
    Just like any species living in colonies, or herds, or any other living ecosystem, humanity is also a single, intertwined organism in a mature state, and this human organism is part of a closed and finite natural system.
    In such systems after the initial stages of development constant, expansive growth is not possible any longer, different interactions, qualitative changes are necessary and all elements have to interact in a very precisely mutual fashion to secure the life and sustainability of the whole system.
    If in such a system a cell or an organ refuses to settle into the overall balance and pushes on with expansive and quantitative growth, that is a cancer, or a virus that is totally harmful from the respect of the global system and also from its own viewpoint as even its own life depends on the well being and longevity of the whole system.
    What stands here is all scientifically proven, but humans are incapable of digesting it as it would require a fundamental change in lifestyle and attitude.
    But since we are only part of the system we have no free choice about it, the only question is if we make the necessary adjustments willingly, being conscious partners in the process, or we are beaten to change by suffering, and the threat of extinction.

  4. CommentedFrank O'Callaghan

    The biggest multiplier (apart from confidence) is equality. Increasing the incomes and wealth of the great majotity while decreasing their indebtedness will spur the growth.

    The concentration of wealth in few hands is a drag on the world economy.

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