merkel schulz Alain Jocard/AFP/Getty Images

德国:失衡还是错乱?

汉堡—对美国总统特朗普来说,衡量一国经济优势的指标是其经常项目余额——即商品和服务的出口减去进口。当然,这一思想是最糟糕的经济无知。它是我们所熟知的重商主义的基础。重商主义包括一系列两百年前就已经被证明是错误的过时的信念。重商主义表明,除了其他方面,德国是世界上最强大的经济体,因为它拥有最大的经常项目盈余。

2016年,德国经常项目盈余大约为2,700亿欧元,或GDP的8.6%,这让它成为特朗普之怒的巨大目标。其与美国之间的650亿美元双边贸易盈余更使其成为显而易见的目标。作为欧元区成员国,德国没有汇率可以操纵——但这一点并不重要。德国对美国出口品相对开放,其决策者需要受到欧盟反补贴规则约束——忘了这一点吧。当一国与某些贸易伙伴存在顺差,但同时与另一些贸易伙伴存在逆差时,双边余额与福利无关——没看见这个事实。特朗普有了一个替罪羊——这才是全部意义所在。

回到现实世界,德国外部盈余的原因不在于它操纵了货币或歧视进口,而在于它储蓄多于投资。储蓄减去投资正好等于出口减去进口,这一巧合不是经济理论,而是会计恒等式。总体而言,德国花的比生产的少,所的差额必然会表现为净出口。

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