Une obsession infondée autour du consommateur allemand

MUNICH – Étant prévu que le rééquilibrage de la demande globale s’inscrive au plus haut de l’agenda des prochains rassemblements du G7 et du G20, il faut s’attendre à ce que l’Allemagne – forte d’un excédent d’exportation inébranlable – subisse de nouvelles pressions en direction de la stimulation de sa demande intérieure ainsi que de la consommation des ménages. Or, cette obsession à l’encontre du consommateur allemand ne saurait constituer qu’une préoccupation secondaire. Car la véritable nécessité réside aujourd’hui dans un soutien massif à l’investissement en Allemagne et en Europe, ainsi que dans la coordination d’un abandon des politiques monétaires ultra-accommodantes.

L’ampleur colossale des déséquilibres de comptes extérieurs a constitué l’une des causes majeures de la crise financière et économique mondiale de 2008, ainsi que de l’instabilité de la zone euro qui en a résulté. L’économie mondiale opère à l’heure actuelle un processus de rééquilibrage – d’une nature toutefois différente de ce à quoi beaucoup s’attendaient.

Autrefois considérables, les excédents externes de l’Asie ont décliné à un rythme incroyablement rapide, la balance commerciale du Japon ayant même glissé vers le déficit. L’excédent de la balance courante de la Chine ne s’élève désormais qu’à 2% du PIB, contre 10% en 2007. Bien que l’investissement demeure le principal moteur de l’économie chinoise, il conduit à l’envolée de la dette ainsi qu’au gonflement du secteur bancaire de l’ombre, tendances que les autorités s’efforcent de contenir.

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