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美国可能步入衰退

发布者: chrislau2001 | 发布时间: 2008-9-18 22:33| 查看数: 1035| 评论数: 1|

U.S. Looks Likely to Drive Into Recession

The economy's built-in shock absorbers have helped avert a deep recession, but they're getting a tough road test.

Until recently, the credit-market turmoil and the Federal Reserve's interest-rate cuts drove down the dollar. That had the pleasant side effect of making U.S. goods cheaper overseas, bolstering exports and helping to keep gross domestic product barely positive.

Now that economic pain has spread globally, the dollar is rising, which can hurt exports. But the stronger buck is also helping inflation to fade, providing another shock absorber just in the nick of time. Since peaking on July 3, crude-oil prices have plunged 37%, while the dollar has gained 11% against the euro. The consumer-price index was negative in August for the first time since October 2006. That gives consumers more spending power and makes them feel better.

Cooling inflation anxiety has helped push Treasury bond yields lower -- typically another shock absorber in a downturn. But here's where the good news ends: Those lower rates, along with aggressively easy Fed policy, haven't helped borrowers. Real-world borrowing costs are in a different universe from Treasury yields and Fed rates. That's why even if the Fed had cut rates Tuesday (it didn't), it likely would have done little good.

Falling prices and interest rates can't kick-start an economy. Japan has been stagnant for decades despite deflation and rock-bottom rates. The U.S. will probably avoid that fate. But unless credit eases, it likely won't dodge a recession this year and can't expect a quick rebound, either.

Mark Gongloff


最新评论

chrislau2001 发表于 2008-9-18 22:34:02
经济的内在减震器曾帮助美国经济避免陷入深度衰退,但现在这一功能正面临着严峻的考验。

直到不久前,信贷市场动荡和美国联邦储备委员会(Federal Reserve)减息还推动美元步步走低。由此带来的一个令人欣喜的副作用是,美国的商品在海外市场更加便宜了,这推动了出口,也让国内生产总值(GDP)勉强保持住了增长的势头。

随着经济的阵痛扩散至全球,美元开始升值,也会由此打击出口。但美元走强也推动了通胀的下降,在关键时刻又提供了一个减震器。自7月3日创出新高以来,原油价格已下跌了37%,而美元兑欧元则上升了11%。8月份消费者价格指数自2006年10月以来首次出现负值。这增加了消费者的购买力,也让他们的信心增强了一些。

对通胀担忧的减轻推动了美国国债收益率的下降,这通常是经济低迷时期的另一个减震器。但好消息到此为止了。利率的下降,以及Fed积极采取的宽松政策并未给借款人带来多大帮助。现实世界的借款利率同美国国债收益率和联邦利率并不一致。这也是就算Fed周二下调利率也很可能于事无补的原因。

物价和利率的下跌不足以发动起整个经济。日本尽管出现了通货紧缩,利率也基本维持在最低点,但仍经历了几十年的停滞。美国可能躲开这种结局。但除非信贷状况缓解,否则今年陷入衰退或许不可避免,而且也难以迅速走出泥潭。

Mark Gongloff
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