Dem amerikanischen Verbraucher geht es nicht gut

NEW HAVEN – Die Spin-Doktoren arbeiten mit allem Nachdruck daran, die suboptimale wirtschaftliche Erholung Amerikas schönzureden. Alles Augenmerk richtet sich auf die Haushalte. Angesichts sinkender Arbeitslosigkeit, steigender Eigenheimpreise und Rekord-Aktienkurse kamen Prognostiker, Marktteilnehmer und politische Entscheidungsträger einhellig zu dem Schluss, dass der amerikanische Verbraucher endlich wieder zurück ist.

Glauben Sie das nicht. Erstens berücksichtige man die Fakten: In den 21 Quartalen seit Anfang 2008 stieg der reale (inflationsbereinigte) persönliche Verbrauch jährlich im Schnitt um nur 0,9 Prozent. Es handelt sich also um die mit Abstand längste Schwächephase der US-Verbrauchernachfrage seit dem Ende des Zweiten Weltkriegs  – und um einen massiven Rückgang des jährlichen realen Wachstums der privaten Konsumausgaben, das in den Jahren vor der Krise von 1996 bis 2007 bei 3,6 Prozent lag. 

Da der Verbrauch der privaten Haushalte für etwa 70 Prozent der US-Wirtschaft verantwortlich ist, reicht diese Kluft zwischen Vorkrisen- und Nachkrisenwerten im Ausmaß von 2,7 Prozentpunkten, um den Wachstumstrend des realen BIP nach der Krise um 1,9 Prozent zu verringern.  Man braucht also gar nicht weiter nach den Ursachen der inakzeptabel hohen  Arbeitslosigkeit in den USA zu suchen.

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