Il consumatore americano non sta bene

NEW HAVEN – I tuttologi si prodigano a parlare di ripresa economica americana. Tutti gli occhi sono puntati sulle famiglie. Grazie alla disoccupazione in calo, ai valori immobiliari in crescita e ai prezzi azionari in rialzo, sempre più esperti, operatori economici e policy maker sono giunti alla conclusione che il consumatore americano sia finalmente tornato.

Non credeteci. Prima di tutto, considerate questi fattori: per oltre 21 trimestri dall’inizio del 2008, i consumi personali reali (depurati dall’inflazione) sono cresciuti a un tasso medio annuo pari appena allo 0,9%. Si tratta senza ombra di dubbio del periodo di debolezza più prolungato mai registrato per i consumi americani dalla fine della seconda guerra mondiale – e un massiccio rallentamento dal passo pre-crisi corrispondente a una crescita annua dei consumi reali pari al 3,6% dal 1996 al 2007.

Con i consumi delle famiglie pari al 70% dell’economia americana, quel divario di 2,7 punti percentuali tra i trend pre-crisi e quelli post-crisi è stato abbastanza per togliere 1,9 punti percentuali dal trend post-crisi relativo alla crescita del Pil reale. La causa è da ricercare nella disoccupazione americana inaccettabilmente elevata.

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