Christine Lagarde and Janet Yellen Yin Bogu/ZumaPress

Repenser le ciblage de l'inflation

ZURICH – Ces deux dernières décennies, le ciblage de l'inflation est devenu le cadre prédominant de la politique monétaire. Il a été adopté sur le fond par les grandes banques centrales (au moins implicitement), y compris par la Réserve fédérale américaine, la Banque Centrale Européenne et la Banque Nationale Suisse. Mais la crise économique mondiale de 2008, dont le monde ne s'est pas encore totalement remis, a jeté un doute sérieux sur cette approche.

La Banque des Règlements Internationaux a longtemps soutenu que le pur ciblage de l'inflation n'est pas compatible avec la stabilité financière. Il ne tient pas compte du cycle financier et produit ainsi une politique monétaire excessivement expansionniste et asymétrique. En outre, un argument important en faveur du ciblage de l'inflation (selon lequel il aurait contribué au déclin de l'inflation depuis le début des années 1990), est au mieux incertain. La déflation réellement a commencé au début des années 1980, bien avant l'invention du ciblage de l'inflation, grâce aux efforts concertés de Paul Volcke, l'ancien Directeur du Conseil d'administration de la Réserve fédérale des États-Unis. Et depuis les années 1990, la mondialisation (en particulier l'intégration de la Chine dans l'économie mondiale), a probablement été la principale raison de la baisse de la pression inflationniste mondiale.

Une indication plus récente, qui indique que le ciblage de l'inflation n'a pas causé la désinflation constatée depuis les années 1990, est la tentative infructueuse par un nombre croissant de banques centrales de relancer leur économie. Si les banques centrales sont incapables d'augmenter l'inflation, il tombe sous le sens qu'elles n'ont pas dû jouer un grand rôle dans sa réduction.

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