Le moment de vérité pour le FMI

L’assemblée d’automne du Fonds monétaire international (FMI) ce mois-ci à Washington réunira les ministres des Finances et les banquiers centraux du monde entier, à un moment décisif pour l’économie mondiale.

Pour commencer, il semble que le toit soit en train de s’effondrer sur la bulle mondiale de l’immobilier, au fur et à mesure que les marchés du logement commencent à se gripper, non seulement aux Etats-Unis, mais également dans de nombreux autres pays, tel le marché pourtant florissant en Espagne. De plus, les marchés financiers, en Europe en particulier, peinent à se remettre de la contraction globale du crédit. Les prix records des matières premières et des denrées alimentaires, associés à une forte augmentation des salaires en Chine, poussent l’inflation à la hausse dans une grande partie du monde. Enfin, l’essor de la productivité américaine semble marquer le pas.

En raison de ces pressions combinées, les banques centrales auront beaucoup plus de mal à maintenir l’économie de « contes de fée », selon l’expression américaine « goldilocks economy » (un juste équilibre entre l’inflation et la croissance). En même temps, le monde examinera de très près ce que les autorités comptent faire, ou ne pas faire, si le dollar continue à se déprécier. Bien que l’imprévisibilité des taux de change soit bien connue, il est probable que la résorption graduelle de l’énorme déficit de la balance commerciale américaine maintiendra le dollar sur la pente d’un déclin graduel sur le long terme.

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