Il ne faut pas suivre la Réserve Fédérale

La Réserve fédérale des États-unis fait face à un dilemme, car elle doit continuer à relever ses taux par rapport à une économie dévastée par l’ouragan Katrina. L’incapacité de la Réserve à relever ses taux plus tôt donne ainsi une leçon à la Banque centrale européenne : après une période prolongée de stabilité monétaire à des taux directeurs inhabituellement bas, attendre trop longtemps avant de relever les taux à des niveaux plus normaux et appropriés comporte des conséquences dangereuses.

La Réserve mit du temps à entamer le processus de normalisation des taux et elle en paie maintenant le prix. La BCE ne doit pas faire la même erreur, même si l'on considère que ces deux banques centrales opèrent dans des milieux différents et avec des contraintes différentes.

Les signes avant-coureurs d’une inflation imminente font foison dans toute la zone euro. La croissance de la masse monétaire est bien supérieure aux niveaux cible depuis un certain temps, ce qui indique une liquidité excessive. L’inflation affichée pour septembre, à 2,6 %, est supérieure à la cible de 2 % de la BCE, tout comme le sont les récentes prévisions pour l'inflation en 2006 (les prévisions revues et corrigées seront publiées début décembre). « La période de modération des salaires touche peut-être à sa fin » nous avertit Otmar Issing, le responsable économique de la BCE, sous-entendant que les prix de l’énergie qui montent en flèche sont peut-être maintenant alimentés via le niveau général des prix (aussi appelé effets secondaires).

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