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种种迹象表明:美国经济衰退即将来临 All signs point to a coming recession

中国日报网 2022-03-31 15:38

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美国理海大学经济学教授安东尼·奥布里恩(Anthony O’Brien)近日发文称,由于美联储采取了错误的货币政策,美国很可能将在未来一年内陷入经济衰退。

 

A person shops at a Trader Joe's grocery store in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, US, March 10, 2022. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

 

The US economy seems headed for a recession later this year or early next year. A recession would make clear that the new monetary policy strategy the Federal Reserve announced in August 2020 has been a failure.

种种迹象表明,美国可能在今年晚些时候或明年年初陷入经济衰退,从而证实美联储在2020年8月宣布的新货币政策以失败告终。

 

The Fed’s new strategy represented a break with the approach it had adopted in response to The Great Inflation of 1968-1982, when inflation eventually soared above 10 percent. Although oil price shocks contributed to the Great Inflation, most economists believe that Fed policy failures were the reason the inflation was so severe.

美联储的新战略意味着背离1968年至1982年大通胀时习得的应对策略,当时通胀率突破了10%。尽管油价危机引发了大通胀,但是多数经济学家认为美联储最初的决策失误是当时通货膨胀如此严重的原因。

 

The Great Inflation taught the Fed that monetary policy should preempt increases in inflation before they became embedded in the economy. Changes in monetary policy can take a year to have their full effect, so the Fed needed to begin raising interest rates when the unemployment rate dropped below the so-called natural rate of unemployment, even if inflation had not yet begun to accelerate. The Fed was still following this approach in 2015, when it raised its target for the federal funds rate even though its preferred measure of inflation was still below its 2 percent target.

那次大通胀让美联储学会一个道理,那就是应该赶在通货膨胀对经济产生深入影响之前施行货币政策。货币政策的变动需要一年时间才能完全发挥作用,因此美联储应该在失业率降到自然失业率以下时就上调利率,即使那时候通胀还未加速。2015年美联储依然遵循这一规律行事,尽管当时通胀率还未达到2%的目标值,但是美联储已经上调了联邦基金的利率。

 

By July 2019, a majority on the Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee had come to believe that with no sign of inflation accelerating, they could safely cut the federal funds rate. The formal change came in August 2020 when they announced that they were adopting a flexible average inflation target (FAIT). Rather than viewing 2 percent as effectively a ceiling on inflation, they now would allow inflation to rise above 2 percent provided that it averaged 2 percent over an unspecified period. They also would no longer focus mainly on the unemployment rate in assessing the state of the labor market.

2019年7月,美联储所属的联邦公开市场委员会的多数人认为,在没有迹象显示通胀会加速的情况下,下调联邦基金利率是安全的。2020年8月,委员会宣布将采用灵活的平均通胀目标制。现在他们不再将2%视为通胀天花板,而是允许通胀率上升到2%以上,只要通胀率在期限不详的一段时间内均值保持在2%即可。他们在评估劳动力市场状态时也不再以失业率为主要标准。

 

There are two key problems with the Fed’s new monetary policy strategy. First, it’s unclear by how much inflation can exceed the 2 percent target or for how long it needs to stay there before the Fed will react. Second, by waiting until it has exceeded the 2 percent target, the Fed has abandoned the decades-long policy of preempting inflation.

美联储的新货币政策存在两个关键问题。第一,不清楚美联储在通胀率超过2%的目标值多少或多久时才会采取行动。第二,眼看着通胀率超过2%的目标值却不作为,美联储已然抛弃了长达数十年的先通胀而行的方针。

 

It seems unlikely that inflation can be brought down to 2 percent until the real federal funds rate becomes positive. While rapid increases in interest rates should succeed in reining in inflation, they are also likely to cause a recession. As Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic has noted, in every similar case since 1960, when the Fed has had to respond to a rapid increase in inflation, the result has been a recession.

如今除非联邦基金利率上升,否则美国通胀率不可能降到2%。快速提高利率尽管可以抑制通货膨胀,但也会导致经济衰退。亚特兰大联邦储备银行行长拉斐尔·博斯蒂克指出,自1960年以来,每次类似的通胀率飙升迫使美联储采取应对措施,结果都是经济衰退。

 

The new monetary policy strategy the Fed adopted in August 2020 has left it without good options. It can follow the present course of slowly increasing interest rates, which will allow high inflation to persist for at least the next two years, or it can increase rates more rapidly, which will bring down inflation, but likely push the economy into a recession.

美联储在2020年8月采取的新货币政策已经让其没有选择余地。美联储可以按现行方式逐渐上调利率,这样会让高通胀至少再持续两年,也可以快速上调利率抑制通胀,但却很可能使经济陷入衰退。

 

英文来源:国会山报

翻译&编辑:丹妮

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