Paul Lachine

Amerikas Schwierigkeiten

NEW YORK: Die gesamtwirtschaftlichen Indikatoren für die USA waren in den letzten Monaten besser als erwartet. Die Zahl der Neueinstellungen ist gestiegen, die Indikatoren für die produzierende Industrie und das Dienstleistungsgewerbe haben sich leicht verbessert, selbst die Wohnungswirtschaft zeigt ein paar Lebenszeichen, und das Konsumwachstum war relativ widerstandsfähig.

Doch trotz der günstigen Daten wird das US-Wirtschaftswachstum im gesamten Jahresverlauf 2012 relativ schwach bleiben und unter dem Trend liegen. Warum ist all den guten Wirtschaftsnachrichten der letzten Zeit nicht zu trauen?

Erstens leiden die US-Verbraucher nach wie vor unter der Einkommens- und Vermögensentwicklung und werden durch Schulden eingeschränkt. Die bescheidene Verbesserung beim verfügbaren Einkommen – trotz stagnierender Reallöhne – beruht primär auf Steuersenkungen und Transferleistungen; dies ist nicht nachhaltig: Irgendwann müssen die Transferleistungen gesenkt und die Steuern erhöht werden, um das Haushaltsdefizit zu reduzieren. Die jüngsten Konsumdaten lassen gegenüber der Zeit vor zwei Monaten – die von für das Weihnachtsgeschäft gerade mal vertretbaren Einzelhandelsumsätzen geprägt war – bereits eine Abschwächung erkennen.

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