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经济学家预测美国2020年进入衰退期,特朗普政府不以为然

Kevin Kelleher 2018年11月28日

经合组织称,最近的发展态势显示,全球经济的扩张已经见顶,而且有可能在未来两年内放缓。

对于2019年的美国经济来说,好消息在于,美国依然不大可能进入衰退期。然而坏消息在于,很多经济学家在一系列经济预测中指出,美国的经济增速将有所放缓,全球经济亦是如此。

美国经济在2018年可谓是收获颇丰。美国经济统计局的数字显示,美国的GDP在第三季度达到了3.5%的年增幅,第二季度达到了4.2%。美国经济分析局指出,随着消费支出的增加,各大公司补充库存,以及各地政府继续维持其支出,美国大多数行业均呈现出欣欣向荣的景象。

然而当经济学家为其2019年预测而研究各种数据时,他们发现美国经济增速将放缓。高盛集团在本周便吸引了不少目光,因为它预测美国GDP增速将在2019年第三季度降至1.8%,在第四季度降至1.6%。高盛预测,2017年年底通过的税收削减政策所带来的影响将逐渐消失,而财务状况将趋紧。

这个预测其实并不算喜人,也不算悲观,但却引发了特朗普政府国家经济委员会主席拉里·库德罗的反驳。库德罗说:“在我和特朗普政府看来,经济衰退离我们还很遥远,远得我们都看不到。经济基本面已再度复苏,而且将继续维持在这一水平……我的意思是,我也看到了一些最为怪诞的观点,说什么经济衰退近在眼前。纯属胡扯。”

一些经济学家的看法比高盛更加悲观,而且高盛并未预测在2020年前会出现经济衰退。路透社的经济学家在本周所做的调查显示,大多数经济学家认为美国进入衰退的概率依然很低,约为35%,但该调查也显示,出现经济衰退的概率中值较上个月略有上升。上周,哈佛大学经济学家、克林顿政府时期的财务部部长拉里·萨默斯称,2020年前出现经济衰退的概率接近50%。

人们对经济下行出现的时间点可能仍存在争议,但很多经济学家认为,美国经济所面临的逆风正逐渐增强,而且不利因素也越来越多:不断上涨的利率推高了消费者和公司的借贷成本;贸易关税在不断增长,很大一部分归功于特朗普激进的贸易政策;而且华尔街分析师也越来越担心,随着股票牛市进入第十个年头,收益增长已经见顶,股价过高的科技领域尤为如此。

除了上述不利因素之外,人们预计全球经济也将放缓。上周三,经合组织将其全球经济增速预测从此前的3.7%调低至3.5%。经合组织称,“最近的发展态势显示,全球经济的扩张已经见顶,而且有可能在未来两年内放缓。”

此外,美银美林所开展的基金经理调查显示,44%的受调对象预计2019年的全球经济将放缓。潘森宏观经济的首席经济师伊万·谢泼德森在给客户的纪要中写道,全球经济增速在2020年年初可能降为零。谢泼德森说:“我们不可能总是逆水行舟。”(财富中文网)

译者:冯丰

审校:夏林

The good economic news for 2019 is that the odds are still against the U.S. economy entering a recession. The bad news, according to many economists, is a series of economic forecasts that calls for growth to not only be slower in the U.S., but also globally.

2018 has been a banner year for economic growth, with the U.S. gross domestic product rising at an annual pace of 3.5% in the third quarter and at 4.2% in the second quarter, according to the Bureau of Economic Statistics. The economy has been firing on most of its cylinders, as consumers spent more, companies invested in inventories, and local governments maintained their spending, the BEA said.

As economists crunch the numbers for their 2019 forecasts, however, they are expecting a slowdown. Goldman drew some attention this week after it said U.S. GDP growth will slow to 1.8% in the third quarter of 2019 and to 1.6% during the fourth quarter. The positive impact of the tax cuts passed in late 2017 will fade while financial conditions will tighten, Goldman predicted.

That forecast, not exactly sunny but not dire either, prompted some pushback from Larry Kudlow, who is serving as president of the National Economic Council under President Trump. “In my personal view, our administration’s view, recession is so far in the distance I can’t see it,” Kudlow said. “The basic economy has reawakened and it’s gonna stay there… I mean, I’m reading some of the weirdest stuff, how a recession is around the corner. Nonsense.”

Some economists are taking a darker view than Goldman, which is not forecasting a recession before 2020. A survey of economists by Reuters this week shows that most expect the chance of a recession in the U.S. is still low, at 35%, although the survey also showed that the median probability of a recession has inched up from 30% in the past month. Last week, Larry Summers, a Harvard economist and former treasury secretary during the Clinton Administration, said there’s a nearly 50% chance of recession by 2020.

The timing of a downturn may be in dispute, but many economists agree that the headwinds facing the U.S. economy are growing stronger and more numerous: Interest rates keep rising, making borrowing costs more expensive for consumers and companies alike; trade tariffs are increasing, thanks in good part to Trump’s aggressive trade policies; and Wall Street analysts are growing concerned that earnings growth has peaked as the bull market enters its tenth year, especially in the overpriced tech sector.

Adding to those U.S. headwinds is an anticipated slowdown in the global economy. On last Wednesday, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development lowered its forecast for global economic growth to 3.5% from its previous forecast of 3.7% growth. “Recent developments suggest that the global expansion has peaked and is likely to slow over the next two years,” the OECD said.

Separately, a survey of fund managers by Bank of America Merrill Lynch showed that 44% of respondents expect global growth to slow in 2019. Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, wrote in a note to clients that global growth could be zero in early 2020. “Gravity can’t be defied forever,” Shepherdson said.

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