Erreurs de lecture de l’économie mondiale

PRINCETON – En avril 2010, le Rapport annuel du Fonds monétaire international intitulé Perspectives de l’économie mondiale présentait une évaluation optimiste de l’économie internationale, décrivant une reprise à plusieurs vitesses suffisamment solide pour laisser espérer une croissance annuelle du PIB d’environ 4,5% dans un avenir prévisible – soit un rythme plus favorable qu’au cours d’une période 2000-2007 caractérisée par l’existence d’un certain nombre de bulles. Depuis, le FMI a cependant régulièrement revu ses projections économiques à la baisse. En effet, le taux de croissance du PIB de 3,3% prévu pour cette année – estimé comme inférieur par le dernier rapport PEM – ne sera probablement pas atteint.

Cet optimisme persistant est le reflet d’erreurs sérieuses de diagnostic des maux qui frappent l’économie mondiale. Les prévisions économiques ont tout particulièrement sous-estimé la gravité de la crise de la zone euro, de même que son impact sur le reste de la planète. Et les perspectives de reprise continuent de dépendre des économies émergentes, même si celles-ci connaissent un sévère ralentissement. Le fait que le rapport PEM prévoie pour cette année un renforcement de la reprise perpétue cette erreur de diagnostic.

L’annonce du président de la Banque centrale européenne Mario Draghi l’été dernier, selon laquelle la BCE entendait faire « tout le nécessaire » pour préserver l’euro, a rassuré les marchés financiers. Mais tandis que se relâchait la pression des marchés financiers, il en a été de même de la propension des dirigeants européens à s’attaquer au problème des dynamiques économiques et politiques sous-jacentes de la zone euro. La facilité de liquidité auprès de la BCE sous-tend désormais un large pan du système bancaire européen.

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