Euro statue Adam Berry | getty images

走上邪路的欧洲央行

发自蒂尔堡——欧洲中央银行又故伎重施了。在其最近在法兰克福举行的会议上,欧洲央行理事会决定进一步增加债券采购规模,将额度由每月600 亿欧元(折合670 亿美元)提升到800 亿欧元,而且还可以购买公司债券。存款利率也再次降低,目前为-0.4%。这是可远远算不上是一个中性的政策——也令欧洲央行大幅逾越了其维持货币稳定的职权范围。

最近这一系列政策举措背后的动机相当明确 ︰ 欧洲央行主席马里奥·德拉吉(Mario Draghi)致力于抑制严重威胁经济增长的通货紧缩状况。因为在通货紧缩的环境中偿付债务愈发艰难,所以企业会倾向于推迟投资。最近欧盟统计局的数据显示,上个月的年度消费者价格指数下降了 0.2%,引发外界高度关注。

但虽然当前情况属于技术性通货紧缩——也就是,持续的价格水平下降,并可能在就业或其他合同上体现出来——但并非结构性通缩。相反,它很大程度上反映了自2014 年6月以来下跌了 70%以上的低油价影响。事实上,如果剔除能源和食品价格,欧元区现正处于结构性低通胀的状况。这与石油价格相结合应该在实际上有益于经济,因为它大幅推动了消费和投资。

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