La dernière chance du Japon ?

NEW HAVEN – Le Japon est la boîte de Pétri de la lutte contre la stagnation séculaire qui retient la plupart des principales économies développées actuelles. Et malgré tout le tapage autour des « Abenomics », l'économie du Japon demeure moribonde. Durant les six derniers trimestres du dernier mandat du Premier ministre de Shinzo Abe, la croissance annualisée du PIB réel s'est élevée en moyenne à 1,4% seulement, à peine au-dessus de la moyenne anémique post-1992 de 1%.

Les Abenomics, avec leur combinaison potentiellement puissante de relance monétaire et budgétaire, couplée à un large éventail de réformes structurelles, étaient censés mettre un terme aux « décennies perdues » du Japon. Les trois « flèches » de la stratégie avaient pour but de libérer l'économie d'un marasme déflationniste en cours depuis 15 ans.

Malheureusement, certaines de ces flèches sont restées suspendues dans les airs. La Banque du Japon semble sur le point de livrer la première (qui concerne ce qu'on a appelé un assouplissement quantitatif et qualitatif (QQE). Par rapport au PIB, le gambit de politique monétaire de la BOJ pourrait dépasser en fait de beaucoup les efforts de la Réserve fédérale américaine.

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