Convergence différenciée des pays émergents

PARIS – Du fait de la faible demande des pays avancés qui freine la croissance des pays émergents - notamment celle des grands acteurs économiques d'Asie et d'Amérique latine - beaucoup d'observateurs croient que le temps de la convergence des revenus est derrière nous. Mais rien n'est plus éloigné de la vérité !

Ainsi que je l'ai déjà montré, la convergence des revenus réels moyens des pays émergents et des revenus des pays avancés va sans doute se prolonger jusque dans les années 2020. Ce processus qui a débuté à la fin des années 1980 a continué sans faiblir, sauf lors de la crise financière asiatique de 1997-1998. Le rythme de la convergence s'est encore accéléré durant et juste après la crise financière de 2008-2009 : en moyenne le différentiel de taux de croissance des revenus par habitant a dépassé 4 points de pourcentage entre 2008 et 2012, alors qu'il était légèrement supérieur à 2 points de pourcentage lors des deux décennies précédentes. Du fait de la reprise dans les pays avancés (même si elle est faible), ce différentiel va probablement diminuer à nouveau, pour redescendre peut-être à quelques 2 points de pourcentage, ce qui reste une convergence incontestable dont le rythme est tout à fait décent.

En ce sens, ce n'est pas "la fin de la partie" pour les pays émergents, contrairement à ce que certains ont prédit au début de l'été dernier, quand le président de la Réserve fédérale américaine, Ben Bernanke, a évoqué l'éventualité de la fin des mesures de relâchement monétaire, déclenchant une mini-crise dans quelques-uns des pays émergents les plus vulnérables. Depuis, ces pays ont récupéré une grande partie de leurs pertes en termes de taux de change et de prix des actifs.

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