Quelques dures vérités à propos de la croissance mondiale

NEW YORK – Les pays riches du monde entier connaissent des difficultés économiques, essentiellement liée à la croissance et à l'emploi, et leur détresse déborde à présent vers les économies en développement. Quels sont les facteurs qui sous-tendent les problèmes d'aujourd'hui, et quelle est la pertinence des réponses politiques les plus probables ?

Le premier facteur clé est le désendettement et la faiblesse de la demande agrégée qui en résulte. Depuis le début de la crise financière en 2008, plusieurs pays développés, qui avaient soutenu la demande par un endettement et une consommation excessifs, ont dû réparer les bilans publics et privés. Or, ceci prend du temps – et a détérioré les perspectives des pays en termes de croissance et d'emploi.

Le secteur abrité représente une part considérable de toute économie avancée (environ les deux tiers de l'activité totale), pour laquelle il n'existe aucun substitut à la demande intérieure. Le secteur exportateur pourrait compenser une partie du déficit, mais n'est pas suffisant pour le compenser entièrement. En principe, les gouvernements pourraient combler l'écart, mais une dette élevée (et en croissance) limite leur capacité à le faire (bien que l’importance de cette contrainte fait l’objet de débats passionnés).

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