Poor colorado town Christian Science Monitor

Onzekerheid troef in 2017

NEW YORK – Ieder jaar probeer ik in de maand januari een voorspelling te doen voor het komende jaar. Economische voorspellingen zijn notoir lastig; maar ondanks de waarheid die is vervat in het verhaal over de voormalige Amerikaanse president Harry Truman, die ooit om een econoom met één arm zou hebben gevraagd (omdat die niet in staat zou zijn om “aan de andere kant” te zeggen), is mijn staat van dienst alleszins geloofwaardig.

De afgelopen jaren heb ik correct voorzien dat, bij ontstentenis van een krachtigere begrotingsimpuls (die zowel in Europa als in de Verenigde Staten is uitgebleven), het herstel van de Grote Recessie van 2008 traag zou verlopen. Bij het doen van deze voorspellingen heb ik me meer verlaten op een analyse van de onderliggende economische krachten dan op complexe econometrische modellen.

Begin 2016 leek het bijvoorbeeld duidelijk dat de onvolkomenheden van de mondiale vraag die zich de afgelopen paar jaar hadden gemanifesteerd, waarschijnlijk niet dramatisch zouden veranderen. Ik was dus van mening dat degenen die een krachtiger herstel voorspelden door een roze bril naar de wereld keken. De economische ontwikkelingen voltrokken zich vervolgens grotendeels zoals ik had verwacht.

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