Artistic rendering of Earth

Extreem weer en mondiale groei

CAMBRIDGE – Tot voor kort was de gebruikelijke gedachtengang onder macro-economen dat weersschommelingen op de korte termijn niet veel invloed hebben op de economische activiteit. De werkgelegenheid in de bouw kan, als het weer ongebruikelijk mild is, in maart beter zijn dan normaal, maar dat wordt dan later weer gladgestreken in april en mei. Als zware regens mensen ervan weerhouden in augustus te gaan winkelen, zullen ze in september meer uitgeven.

Maar recent economisch onderzoek, ondersteund door een uitzonderlijk sterke El Niño – een ingewikkeld mondiaal klimaatsfenomeen dat wordt gekenmerkt door buitengewoon warm water in de Stille Oceaan in de buurt van Ecuador en Peru –, heeft geleid tot een herziening van dit inzicht.

Extreme weersomstandigheden beïnvloeden op de korte termijn wel degelijk de macro-economische statistieken. Zij kunnen 100,000 banen meer of minder schelen in de Amerikaanse werkgelegenheidscijfers - de meest gevolgde economische statistiek in de wereld, en algemeen gezien als een van de meest accurate. De invloed van met El Niño samenhangende weersgebeurtenissen (die in preciezere zin bekend staan als “El Niño Southern Oscillation”-gebeurtenissen), zoals die van dit jaar, kunnen bijzonder groot zijn door hun mondiale bereik.

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