Japanese cat ornament: Maneki Neko

La Chine frappée par le syndrome japonais

NEW YORK– La Chine fait aujourd’hui l’expérience de ce que le Japon a connu il y a de cela une génération : un net ralentissement de sa croissance économique, suite à une volonté américaine de voir le pays limiter ses exportations. Fin des années 1980 - début des années 1990, les États-Unis reprochent au Japon d’être un « acteur commercial déloyal », eu égard à l’explosion des exportations manufacturières nippones. L’Amérique va alors formuler de vives menaces, a priori crédibles, consistant à restreindre les importations japonaises, et parviendra à contraindre le Japon à surévaluer le yen, ce qui contribuera à provoquer un net coup d’arrêt pour la croissance japonaise.

C’est ce qui semble se produire à nouveau aujourd’hui, à l’heure où la croissance chinoise présente un important ralentissement sous le poids d’une surévaluation du yen voulue par les États-Unis. Le graphique n°1 représente le taux de change réel du yen (ajusté à l’inflation), sur une période allant de 1964 (époque à laquelle le yen est devenu convertible aux fins des opérations courantes) jusqu’à aujourd’hui. La hausse de la courbe indique une appréciation réelle, signifiant que le yen est devenu plus coûteux que les autres monnaies après correction des changements relatifs au niveau des prix.

Graphique n°1 : Taux de change réel du yen japonais (2007 = 100)

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