Quel leadership pour l'économie mondiale ?

PRINCETON – En terme de leadership économique mondial, le 20° siècle a été celui de l'Amérique, le 19° siècle a été celui de la Grande-Bretagne et le 16° siècle celui de l'Espagne. Certains Européens et certains Chinois pensent que leur tour est venu. Mais est-ce souhaitable pour eux ?

La première condition pour prétendre au leadership économique mondial est la taille. Plus grande est l'économie d'un pays, plus grande est son importance systémique, et plus grande est l'influence de ses dirigeants sur les processus de décision au niveau international. Les USA sont la première économie mondiale, avec un PIB de quelques 16 700 milliards de dollars. La zone euro arrive en deuxième position avec une production de 12 600 millions de dollars, suivie par la Chine avec un PIB de 9 000 milliards de dollars. Autrement dit, les économies de ces trois entités sont assez importantes pour prétendre au titre de leader mondial.

Les perspectives d'avenir d'une économie sont aussi un facteur essentiel pour accéder au leadership - mais des défis redoutables se tapissent sur ce chemin. Personne n'imagine que dans les années ou même les décennies à venir la croissance de la zone euro sera supérieure à celle des USA. La Chine devrait dépasser les USA en terme de production en 2020, mais des décennies d'un contrôle rigide des naissances vont affaiblir sa croissance à long terme. L'économie américaine est donc appelée à rester, au moins pour le moment, la plus dynamique des trois.

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