Das schwarze Loch in Amerikas BIP

CAMBRIDGE – Der massive Abschwung der amerikanischen Wirtschaft wird länger anhalten und größere Schäden verursachen als frühere Rezessionen, weil er von einem beispiellosen Vermögensverlust amerikanischer Haushalte angetrieben ist. Obwohl das von Präsident Obama jüngst unterzeichnete Konjunkturprogramm die wirtschaftliche Aktivität irgendwann im Sommer zeitweilig beleben wird, steht beinahe fest, dass sich die Prognose einer in der zweiten Jahreshälfte 2009 einsetzenden nachhaltigen Erholung als allzu optimistisch erweisen wird.

Frühere Rezessionen waren oftmals von einer übermäßigen Akkumulierung von Beständen und Überinvestitionen in Betriebsausstattung geprägt. Mit der Zeit wurden diese Überschüsse abgebaut und so Raum für neue Investitionen geschaffen, wodurch die Wirtschaft wieder auf die Beine kommen konnte. Unterstützt wurde diese Erholung durch eine Senkung der Zinssätze durch die Zentralbanken.  

Diesmal allerdings zerstörte der Absturz der Aktien- und Eigenheimpreise in den USA mehr als 12 Billionen Dollar an Vermögen privater Haushalte. Diese Summe entspricht über 75 Prozent des BIP. Aufgrund früherer Reaktionen auf den Rückgang von Haushaltsvermögen weiß man, dass die Verbraucherausgaben dadurch jährlich um etwa 500 Millionen Dollar sinken, bis das Vermögen wieder hergestellt ist. Während eine höhere Sparquote der Haushalte zwar hilft, dieses Vermögen wieder aufzubauen, bedarf es über eines Jahrzehnts relativ hoher Sparquoten, um die Verluste wettzumachen.

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