Ne parions pas sur un redressement rapide de l'économie américaine

Où va l'économie américaine ? Chaque bonne nouvelle suggérant que la récession américaine est sur le point de disparaître est suivie de mauvaises nouvelles suggérant le contraire. La politique monétaire de la direction de la Réserve fédérale reflète bien cette ambiguïté : les taux d'intérêt ne baissent ni de montent. Au lieu de cela, une position neutre est maintenue. Les méandres de la bourse suggèrent la même incertitude.

La plupart des débats sur l'économie américaine n'aident en rien puisque ces débats portent sur de fausses questions : quand commença et quand finit la récession ? Une récession se définit en général par la baisse du PIB. Cependant, ce qui est vraiment en cause, c'est le fossé entre le potentiel de l'économie et ses performances réelles.

Dans ces termes, les performances de l'économie américaine resteront probablement lamentables. Les augmentations de la productivité mesurée signifient que le taux de croissance annuel du potentiel de l'économie se situe maintenant aux alentours de 3,5 à 4%. (Les méthodes de correction des indices des prix ont changé, de sorte que ce que l'on estime aujourd'hui à 4% représente en fait une mesure autrefois considérablement moindre.)

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