Au-delà des cibles d’inflation

EDIMBOURG – Au cours des trois dernières décennies environ, les banquiers centraux et les universitaires sont devenus de plus en plus convaincus que le ciblage d'inflation est la clé de la préservation de la stabilité macroéconomique. Or, ceci est pratiquement impossible à prouver, et la crise financière de 2008 a suggéré à beaucoup que la politique monétaire devrait se concentrer sur d’autres choses que les prix des biens et services. Dès lors, quelle structure devrait prendre un mandat révisé pour les banques centrales, de manière à maintenir leur attention sur une faible inflation tout en permettant, le cas échéant, à la politique monétaire de répondre à d'autres problèmes ?

La contribution du ciblage de l'inflation à la stabilité macroéconomique est difficile à évaluer pour une raison simple : il est impossible de savoir ce qui se passerait si la banque centrale d'un pays poursuivait le chemin inverse. Devant l’impossibilité de comparer directement les résultats, les chercheurs ont utilisé une variété de stratégies pour identifier l'impact du ciblage de l'inflation, et ont généralement établi qu’il était important (bien que l'effet devienne faible voire même nul lorsque les points de départ des pays sont pris en compte).

Par exemple, une étude de cas du Royaume-Uni au cours de la période 1997-2007 – une période de ciblage d'inflation et d'indépendance politique de la Banque d'Angleterre (BoE) complets – indique une amélioration considérable en partant d'un mauvais point de départ. L'accent mis sur la stabilité des prix a été accompagné par une inflation relativement faible (par rapport au passé, ainsi que d'autres grandes économies), une forte croissance et une faible volatilité de la production.

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