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经济学人:美国的通胀预期到底有多稳固?(1)

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Inflation expectations

通胀预期

A different kind of fluke

另一种锚

Just how anchored are America's inflation expectations

美国的通胀预期有多稳固

Since democrats proposed a $1.9trn fiscal stimulus in January, hawks have warned that America's economy might overheat. With cheques for $1,400 now landing in bank accounts, President Joe Biden reportedly considering spending another $3trn on infrastructure and the Federal Reserve showing no sign of putting the brakes on the rebound from the pandemic, the predictions of impending doom are getting louder. The latest was delivered by Larry Summers, a former treasury secretary, on March 20th. Mr Summers sees it as more likely than not that the economy will suffer either from an inflation surge or from the crushing effects of higher interest rates. America, he says, has the least responsible economic policy in 40 years.

自民主党1月份提出1.9万亿美元的财政刺激方案以来,鹰派就警告美国经济可能过热。现在每人1400美元的支票陆续到账,据称总统拜登正在考虑再推出三万亿美元的基建计划,而美联储也没有释放出要对疫情后的经济反弹踩刹车的信号,预测末日即将降临的声音越来越响亮。最近发声的是前财政部长拉里萨默斯,他在3月20日预测经济有过半概率要承受通胀飙升,或利率上升带来的破坏效应。他说,美国现在施行的是40年来最不负责任的经济政策。

The worst-case scenario painted by inflation hawks can be broken into stages. First, inflation will soon rise mechanically as numbers from the spring of 2020, when the economy and commodity prices slumped, fall out of comparisons with a year earlier. On that everyone agrees.

通胀鹰派所描绘的最坏情况可以分为几个阶段。首先,通胀自然很快就会上升,因为2020年春季经济下滑、大宗商品价格暴跌,导致经济数据同比大幅下降。对于这一点各方并无异议。

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The next phase is a second wave of inflation as spending by newly vaccinated-consumers rebounds from the pandemic faster than production can keep up. Even stimulus advocates typically admit that overheating is a risk, and it would be more likely should more deficit spending pass. Mr Biden may unveil the spending side of his infrastructure bill alongside his preliminary annual budget proposals for government departments, which are due next week. Whereas some of any Biden infrastructure bill may be paid for by raising taxes, it seems unlikely that Congress would raise $3trn this way, rather than relying on at least some extra borrowing.

第二阶段,接种了疫苗的消费者的支出在疫情后迅速反弹,而生产无法跟上,就会出现第二波通胀。就连刺激措施的拥护者一般也都承认过热是一种风险,而如果国会通过更多赤字支出提案,过热的几率就更大。拜登将于下周宣布政府部门的初步财年预算案,届时可能会公布他的基建刺激提案的支出安排。尽管这项基建提案中的一部分资金可能会通过提高税收来筹措,但国会似乎不太可能完全以这种方式筹集全部三万亿美元,而至少会依靠一些额外借债。

It is the last stage of the doomsday timeline that is most controversial, in which temporary inflation turns permanent as the public's inflation expectations rise and become self-fulfilling. Workers, anticipating a higher cost of living, demand higher pay; forward-thinking firms raise prices. The result would be a return to the 5% plus inflation of the late 1960s, or perhaps even the 10%-plus rates of the 1970s.

最具争议的是末日时间表的第三阶段:随着公众的通胀预期上升并开始自我应验,暂时的通胀将成为长期现象。预期生活成本升高的工人将要求加工资;有前瞻的公司会提高产品价格。结果是通胀可能将恢复到上世纪60年代后期5%以上的水平,或者甚至是70年代10%以上的水平。

In recent decades the grip of the Fed on inflation expectations seemed ironclad. Even when in 2019 unemployment plumbed depths not seen since the 1960s, inflation expectations did not stir very much. In theory that makes all inflation surprises temporary. "Having (inflation expectations) anchored at 2% is what gives us the ability to push hard when the economy's really weak," said Jerome Powell, the Fed's chairman, on March 17th.

近几十年来,美联储似乎一直紧紧控制着通胀预期。即使在2019年失业率下降到60年代以来的最低水平时,通胀预期也没有太大波动。从理论上讲,这使得通胀的所有意外变化都只是暂时的。美联储主席杰罗姆·鲍威尔(Jerome Powell)3月17日说:“把(通胀预期)锚定在2%,那么到了经济真正疲软的时候我们才有空间使力。”

译文由可可原创,仅供学习交流使用,未经许可请勿转载。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
fiscal ['fiskəl]

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adj. 财政的,国库的

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unlikely [ʌn'laikli]

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adj. 不太可能的

 
budget ['bʌdʒit]

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n. 预算
vt. 编预算,为 ... 做预算

 
reserve [ri'zə:v]

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n. 预备品,贮存,候补
n. 克制,含蓄

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surge [sə:dʒ]

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n. 汹涌,澎湃
v. 汹涌,涌起,暴涨

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commodity [kə'mɔditi]

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n. 商品,日用品

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controversial [.kɔntrə'və:ʃəl]

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adj. 引起争论的,有争议的

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pandemic [pæn'demik]

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adj. 全国流行的 n. (全国或全世界范围流行的)疾

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treasury ['treʒəri]

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n. 国库,宝库 (大写)财政部,国债

 
impending [im'pendiŋ]

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adj. 逼迫的,迫切的,即将发生的 动词impend的

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