La bonne méthode pour combattre l'inflation en Chine

WASHINGTON - Faisant un bon de 3,3% en mars 2007 à 8,3% un an plus tard, l'accélération de l'inflation menace la stabilité sociale de la Chine. C'est pourquoi la Banque populaire de Chine a fortement augmenté ses taux d'intérêt, ainsi que les conditions imposées aux réserves des banques. Le gouvernement chinois cherche à combattre l'inflation sans compromettre la croissance à long terme, mais les risques sont grands.

L'augmentation du taux d'inflation accompagne une hausse analogue du taux de croissance du PIB qui est passé de 11% en 2006 (ce qui est déjà élevé) à 11,5% en 2007. La cause immédiate de l'augmentation des prix depuis le milieu de l'année dernière est la difficulté de la production à suivre la demande dans un nombre de secteurs croissant (production d'électricité, transport et biens intermédiaires).

Une croissance élevée et soutenue alliée à une demande globale elle-même à la hausse se sont traduites par une offre insuffisante en dehors de Chine, notamment dans le secteur agricole et le secteur minier, ce qui a contribué à la flambée du cours du pétrole au-dessus de 100 dollars le baril. S'ajoutent à cela deux autres causes d'inflation : le syndrome dysgénésique et respiratoire (PRRS), une maladie qui tue les porcs (la principale source de viande en Chine) à travers tout le pays et les terribles tempêtes de janvier qui ont affecté la production de céréales et de légumes.

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