Model house on calculator

La question délicate du taux d'endettement

LONDRES – Y a-t-il un taux d'endettement « sûr » par rapport aux revenus pour les ménages, ou un taux d'endettement « sûr » par rapport au PIB pour les gouvernements ? Dans les deux cas, la réponse est oui. Et dans les deux cas, il est impossible de dire exactement quel est ce taux. Néanmoins cela est devenu la question macroéconomique plus urgente du moment, non seulement à cause de l'augmentation en flèche de la dette des ménages et de la dette publique depuis 2000. Mais également (fait plus important), à cause de l'inquiétude que suscite à présent la dette publique.

Selon un rapport de 2015 du McKinsey Global Institute, la dette des ménages dans de nombreux pays avancés a doublé, à plus de 200% du revenu entre 2000 et 2007. Depuis lors, les ménages dans les pays les plus durement frappés par la crise économique de 2008-2009 se sont un peu désendettés, mais le taux d'endettement des ménages dans la plupart des pays avancés n'a pas cessé d'augmenter.

L'irruption de la dette publique a suivi l'effondrement de 2008-2009. Par exemple, la dette du gouvernement britannique a augmenté d'un peu plus de 40% du PIB en 2007, à 92% actuellement. Les efforts soutenus de la part des gouvernements très endettés en vue de supprimer leurs déficits ont causé l'augmentation des taux d'endettement, en réduisant le PIB, comme en Grèce ou au Royaume-Uni, en retardant la reprise.

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