L’illusion trompeuse de l’Amérique

NEW HAVEN – Les marchés financiers et le soi-disant consensus de Davos s’accordent largement sur le fait que les Etats-Unis pourraient finalement enfin connaître une forme de reprise cyclique classique. Mais est-ce le cas ?

A première vue, l’heure est à la fête. La croissance du PIB réel semble se situer aux alentours de 4% au second semestre 2013, soit près du double de la croissance à 2,2% enregistrée au cours des quatre années qui ont précédé. Le taux de chômage a fini par baisser en dessous du seuil de 7%. Et la Réserve Fédérale a validé ce scénario apparemment optimiste en réduisant ses achats d’actifs à long terme.

Mais mon conseil est de laisser le champagne au frais. Deux trimestres de reprise de la croissance du PIB ne signifient par une rupture de la timidité de la reprise. Le phénomène s’est déjà produit par deux fois depuis la fin de la grande récession de mi-2009 – un gain annualisé de 3,4% en moyenne aux deuxième et troisième trimestres de 2010 et une augmentation moyenne de 4,3% au quatrième trimestre de 2011 et au premier trimestre de 2012. Dans les deux cas, la tendance s’est essoufflée.

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