A quand l'automatisation du secteur financier ?

PRINCETON – Le débat économique se focalise sur le taux de croissance qui devient une sorte de thermomètre, ceci encore davantage par tant de crise. Mais les chiffres sont fluctuants et peu fiables, ce qui incite les statisticiens à chercher d'autres moyens pour mesurer le très large éventail des biens et services produits par une économie. Revues et corrigées, les données mettent en question le rôle économique des services financiers.

Fin juillet, le Bureau d'analyses économiques des USA a publié une étude critique du PIB américain depuis 1929. Elle montre que le PIB est bien plus volatil que ce que l'on croyait. Les données recalculées sont différentes de celles précédemment publiées. Selon cette analyse, la croissance durant les périodes fastes et la chute durant les périodes de ralentissement ont été beaucoup plus rapides que ne l'indiquent les chiffres connus. Entre 1997 et 2008, le taux de croissance était de 2,8% et non pas de 2,7%. En 2008, il a dégringolé jusqu'à 0,4% et non pas jusqu'à 1,1%. De même, la baisse du PIB durant le premier trimestre 2009 a été plus importante que ne l'indiquent les calculs antérieurs à cette étude.

La logique qui sous-tend ces variations est plus intéressante que les corrections relativement minimes des taux de croissance. L'objectif était surtout d'avoir des chiffres plus honnêtes. Les données se rapportant aux services financiers notamment ont été traitées différemment et avec davantage de transparence. A la lumière de ces nouveaux calculs, les dépenses de santé apparaissent plus faibles, parce que les coûts liés aux assurances médicales sont maintenant comptabilisés dans la rubrique ampquot;Services financiers et assuranceampquot;.

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