La reprise est provisoire

NEW-YORK – Il a suffit de quelques signes qui laissent à penser que le ralentissement économique a déjà atteint son apogée aux USA, en Chine et dans d'autres parties du monde, pour que l'on prévoit le retour à une croissance positive aux USA et dans d'autres économies avancées pour le deuxième semestre 2009. Un consensus fait jour parmi les économistes : l'année prochaine, la croissance sera proche du taux tendanciel de 2,5%.

Les investisseurs parlent de petits signes de reprise et de dérivée seconde positive pour l'activité économique (le ralentissement de l'économie se prolonge, ce que traduit la dérivée première négative, mais la diminution du taux de ralentissement donne à penser que le fond est presque atteint). Aussi, les Bourses ont-elles commencé à se redresser aux USA et tout autour du monde. Les marchés paraissent croire que l'on est au bout du tunnel, tant pour l'économie que pour les profits mis à mal des entreprises et des firmes financières.

A mon avis les faits ne confortent pas cet optimisme. Alors que ceux que j'appelle ampquot;les économistes du consensusampquot; prévoient pour le deuxième semestre un taux de croissance à la hausse de +2%, je m'attends à ce qu'il reste négatif (entre –1,5 et – 2%) - ceci même si le taux de ralentissement de l'économie américaine baisse de 6%. Par ailleurs, la croissance sera si faible l'année prochaine (entre 0,5 et 1%, alors que les estimations courantes sont de 2% ou même davantage) et le chômage si élevé (supérieur à 10%) que le climat sera celui d'une récession.

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