Paul Lachine

USA: un redressement trompeur

NEW-YORK – Depuis quelques mois aux USA les indicateurs macroéconomiques sont meilleurs que prévus. La création d'emplois a redémarré, les secteurs de la production manufacturière et des services se sont quelque peu redressés, même l'immobilier donne des signes d'amélioration et la croissance de la consommation fait preuve d'une certaine résilience. Pourtant malgré cette éclaircie, en 2012 la croissance américaine restera faible et inférieure à la tendance, car les signes de redressement économique sont trompeurs.

Tout d'abord les revenus et le patrimoine des ménages américains restent menacés et ils subissent les conséquences de la dette. Pourtant malgré la stagnation des salaires réels leur revenu disponible a augmenté modestement, notamment en raison des baisses d'impôts et des transferts sociaux. Mais cette situation ne peut s'éterniser : un jour ou l'autre ces transferts devront être réduits et les impôts augmentés pour diminuer le déficit budgétaire. Les derniers chiffres montrent déjà un fléchissement de la consommation par rapport aux deux derniers mois, avec des ventes simplement passables à l'occasion des fêtes de fin d'année.

La création d'emplois est encore insuffisante pour diminuer significativement le taux de chômage et avoir un impact sur les salaires. Les USA doivent créer au moins 150 000 emplois par mois simplement pour stabiliser le chômage. Mais les entreprises cherchent encore à diminuer le coût du travail et plus de 40% des chômeurs sont depuis longtemps dans cette situation, ce qui réduit leur chance de retrouver un emploi décent.

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