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V变W?美国重启过快,可能导致经济二次探底

V变W?美国重启过快,可能导致经济二次探底

美联社, Paul Wiseman 2020年05月14日
过于草率放宽社交隔离措施,可能导致疫情在秋天之前死灰复燃,致使经济重新进入封锁状态。

美国爆发新冠疫情之后,采取了隔离措施,限制出行,并要求企业停业。许多经济学家预测美国经济将“V”字型反转:初期大幅下跌,疫情结束后快速反弹,然后经济恢复健康。

还有人预测的是更缓慢的“U”字型趋势。

但现在,随着美国总统唐纳德·特朗普和许多共和党人力促重启经济,有些专家却看到了其中可能蕴含的风险:过于草率放宽社交隔离措施,可能导致疫情在秋天之前死灰复燃,致使经济重新进入封锁状态。其结果就是出现“W”字型经济复苏曲线。在这场灾难中,最终反弹之前,试探性的经济复苏会演变成“二次探底”经济衰退。

哈佛大学肯尼迪政府学院(Harvard Kennedy School)的资本形成与增长教授杰弗里·弗兰克尔说:“仓促重启经济大大提高了出现‘W’字型经济复苏曲线的可能性。”

弗兰克尔认为,应该等到死亡率大幅下降,并且广泛普及病毒检测之后,再开始大范围复工。在有效的治疗方法或疫苗大范围应用之前,没有人是完全安全的,但这个过程可能需要几个月时间。

弗兰克尔表示,他还担心政府可能过早撤回对经济发展的财政援助,从而削弱暂时性经济复苏的支柱。

华盛顿大学圣路易斯分校(Washington University in St. Louis)的经济学家、圣路易斯联邦储备银行(Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis)的研究员申龙石(音译)表示:“出现‘W’字型经济复苏曲线的可能性很高。除非谨慎推动经济重启,进行大范围的检测和推行自愿社交隔离,否则很多地方的感染率会迅速上升。”

“然后人们因为担心感染会留在家中,地方政府将重新施行封锁禁令,经济复苏也会戛然而止。”

二次探底将大幅增加已经疲软的美国经济所面临的风险。美国国会已经提供了约3万亿美元的财政援助,旨在帮助家庭和企业渡过未来几个月的艰难时期,这是有史以来规模最大的救助行动。但这种短期援助假设的前提是经济将持续复苏。如果第二轮经济衰退加剧,国会是否会再提供数万亿美元,帮助企业在第二轮长达数月的停工潮中存活下去,是个未知数。

许多公司的现金储备也不足以抵御第二轮衰退。同样具有威胁性的是,“二次探底”经济衰退会打击个人和企业的信心,而信心是经济反弹的关键。如果消费者不相信经济能长期保持向好趋势,许多人便不会恢复消费,经济也就很难实现反弹。

在欧洲,法国和比利时解除了封锁,荷兰学校复课,西班牙允许人们外出用餐。本周一,最近重启的城市街头摆上了塑料隔离屏障,人们也纷纷戴上了口罩。这些城市都在尽量达到一种微妙的平衡:既要重启遭遇重创的经济,又要避免疫情二次爆发。

美联储(Federal Reserve)主席杰罗姆·鲍威尔敦促政府在重启经济时应该保持谨慎。他警告称,“第二轮或第三轮疫情爆发的风险很高。”

目前,美国经济基本处在直线下跌的状态。4月的就业岗位减少了2,050万个,创下了历史新高。失业率飙升至14.7%,达到大萧条以来的最高水平。最广泛的产出衡量指标国内生产总值从1月到3月,按年率计算下滑了4.8%,本季度GDP按年率计算的下滑幅度将达到惊人的40%。这是自1947年以来的最差纪录。

在大选年遭遇这样的灾难,特朗普和许多共和党的盟友当然迫切希望解除限制、重启经济。他们声称,只要佩戴口罩和采取其他防护措施,就能保证企业在一定的准则下安全复工。特朗普还公开支持各地强迫州长“解封”的抗议活动。

但据美联社在上周报道,美国多个州的州长无视白宫的指导方针。有17个州并没有达到白宫设定的企业复工的关键标准:新增案例或检测呈阳性比例连续14天呈下降趋势。

得克萨斯州副州长、共和党人丹·帕特里克甚至表示,为了重启经济,即便冒着死亡人数增加的风险也是值得的。

帕特里克在接受福克斯新闻频道(Fox News)采访时称:“我们有比生存更重要的事情。我不想死,没有人想死。但我们得敢于冒险,我们要复工,让这个国家恢复繁荣和活力。”

多数美国人表示他们对正常回公司上班持谨慎态度。皮尤研究中心(Pew Research Center)的调查发现,68%的受访者表示,担心州政府会过快解除封锁。只有31%的受访者希望尽早取消限制。

咨询公司致同国际(Grant Thornton)的首席经济学家戴安娜·斯万克说:“人们以为只要把水龙头打开就行了。这是一种可笑的观点。这个水龙头依旧是被新冠病毒污染的水龙头。没有人想要从被污染的井里取水喝。”

许多公司的乐观情绪也有所缓和。数据公司Womply发现,即使在积极推动经济重启的得克萨斯州和佛罗里达州,企业的反应也相当迟缓。Womply发现,得克萨斯州和佛罗里达州依旧停工的企业比例只有“小幅减少,甚至可以忽略不计”。

Womply总结道:“这可能意味着之前停工的企业无法确定如何根据新的指导方针复工,无法吸引主顾,或者可能无限期关闭。”

Big Buzz是一家位于丹佛的医疗保健营销咨询公司,其CEO温蒂·菲利普斯预计经济复苏出现“‘W’字型曲线的可能性高于‘V’字型。”菲利普将员工人数从8人削减到6人,其中有两人是在公司通过政府的小企业救助计划获得10.5万美元贷款之后,才保留住了全职岗位。

菲利普说:“未来充满了未知数。我想经济衰退至少会持续两到三年时间。”

肯尼迪政治学院的弗兰克尔等都担心在税收锐减的情况下,如果经济复苏始终乏力,各州和地方政府可能会不得不削减支出,反过来将阻碍经济增长。

另外一个威胁是企业和家庭破产和出现现金短缺的可能。虽然有些公司和家庭可以推迟缴纳租金和其他付款,但这些钱最终还是需要全部偿还给房东和其他债权人。

在1918年西班牙流感疫情期间,美国政府也曾过早宣布抗疫取得了胜利,结果疫情二次爆发,而且更具有毁灭性。在当前的新冠疫情中,韩国在确诊病例人数下降之后放宽了限制。但在与夜店关联病例达到数十例之后,首尔在上周六关闭了所有夜店、酒吧和迪厅。

上周,哥伦比亚大学梅尔曼公共卫生学院(Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health)的研究员警告,放宽居家隔离令,允许人们自由聚集,意味着“新冠肺炎新增病历和死亡人数将在5月底反弹。”

研究人员预测,在各州开始复工之后的两到四周内感染病例会出现第二波高潮。

首席研究员杰弗瑞·沙曼表示:“感染和确诊之间存在时间差,再加上检测能力和接触跟踪能力不足,将导致新冠疫情的反弹和确诊人数的飞速增长无法被及时察觉,直到疫情爆发第二轮高潮。”(财富中文网)

译者:Biz

美国爆发新冠疫情之后,采取了隔离措施,限制出行,并要求企业停业。许多经济学家预测美国经济将“V”字型反转:初期大幅下跌,疫情结束后快速反弹,然后经济恢复健康。

还有人预测的是更缓慢的“U”字型趋势。

但现在,随着美国总统唐纳德·特朗普和许多共和党人力促重启经济,有些专家却看到了其中可能蕴含的风险:过于草率放宽社交隔离措施,可能导致疫情在秋天之前死灰复燃,致使经济重新进入封锁状态。其结果就是出现“W”字型经济复苏曲线。在这场灾难中,最终反弹之前,试探性的经济复苏会演变成“二次探底”经济衰退。

哈佛大学肯尼迪政府学院(Harvard Kennedy School)的资本形成与增长教授杰弗里·弗兰克尔说:“仓促重启经济大大提高了出现‘W’字型经济复苏曲线的可能性。”

弗兰克尔认为,应该等到死亡率大幅下降,并且广泛普及病毒检测之后,再开始大范围复工。在有效的治疗方法或疫苗大范围应用之前,没有人是完全安全的,但这个过程可能需要几个月时间。

弗兰克尔表示,他还担心政府可能过早撤回对经济发展的财政援助,从而削弱暂时性经济复苏的支柱。

华盛顿大学圣路易斯分校(Washington University in St. Louis)的经济学家、圣路易斯联邦储备银行(Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis)的研究员申龙石(音译)表示:“出现‘W’字型经济复苏曲线的可能性很高。除非谨慎推动经济重启,进行大范围的检测和推行自愿社交隔离,否则很多地方的感染率会迅速上升。”

“然后人们因为担心感染会留在家中,地方政府将重新施行封锁禁令,经济复苏也会戛然而止。”

二次探底将大幅增加已经疲软的美国经济所面临的风险。美国国会已经提供了约3万亿美元的财政援助,旨在帮助家庭和企业渡过未来几个月的艰难时期,这是有史以来规模最大的救助行动。但这种短期援助假设的前提是经济将持续复苏。如果第二轮经济衰退加剧,国会是否会再提供数万亿美元,帮助企业在第二轮长达数月的停工潮中存活下去,是个未知数。

许多公司的现金储备也不足以抵御第二轮衰退。同样具有威胁性的是,“二次探底”经济衰退会打击个人和企业的信心,而信心是经济反弹的关键。如果消费者不相信经济能长期保持向好趋势,许多人便不会恢复消费,经济也就很难实现反弹。

在欧洲,法国和比利时解除了封锁,荷兰学校复课,西班牙允许人们外出用餐。本周一,最近重启的城市街头摆上了塑料隔离屏障,人们也纷纷戴上了口罩。这些城市都在尽量达到一种微妙的平衡:既要重启遭遇重创的经济,又要避免疫情二次爆发。

美联储(Federal Reserve)主席杰罗姆·鲍威尔敦促政府在重启经济时应该保持谨慎。他警告称,“第二轮或第三轮疫情爆发的风险很高。”

目前,美国经济基本处在直线下跌的状态。4月的就业岗位减少了2,050万个,创下了历史新高。失业率飙升至14.7%,达到大萧条以来的最高水平。最广泛的产出衡量指标国内生产总值从1月到3月,按年率计算下滑了4.8%,本季度GDP按年率计算的下滑幅度将达到惊人的40%。这是自1947年以来的最差纪录。

在大选年遭遇这样的灾难,特朗普和许多共和党的盟友当然迫切希望解除限制、重启经济。他们声称,只要佩戴口罩和采取其他防护措施,就能保证企业在一定的准则下安全复工。特朗普还公开支持各地强迫州长“解封”的抗议活动。

但据美联社在上周报道,美国多个州的州长无视白宫的指导方针。有17个州并没有达到白宫设定的企业复工的关键标准:新增案例或检测呈阳性比例连续14天呈下降趋势。

得克萨斯州副州长、共和党人丹·帕特里克甚至表示,为了重启经济,即便冒着死亡人数增加的风险也是值得的。

帕特里克在接受福克斯新闻频道(Fox News)采访时称:“我们有比生存更重要的事情。我不想死,没有人想死。但我们得敢于冒险,我们要复工,让这个国家恢复繁荣和活力。”

多数美国人表示他们对正常回公司上班持谨慎态度。皮尤研究中心(Pew Research Center)的调查发现,68%的受访者表示,担心州政府会过快解除封锁。只有31%的受访者希望尽早取消限制。

咨询公司致同国际(Grant Thornton)的首席经济学家戴安娜·斯万克说:“人们以为只要把水龙头打开就行了。这是一种可笑的观点。这个水龙头依旧是被新冠病毒污染的水龙头。没有人想要从被污染的井里取水喝。”

许多公司的乐观情绪也有所缓和。数据公司Womply发现,即使在积极推动经济重启的得克萨斯州和佛罗里达州,企业的反应也相当迟缓。Womply发现,得克萨斯州和佛罗里达州依旧停工的企业比例只有“小幅减少,甚至可以忽略不计”。

Womply总结道:“这可能意味着之前停工的企业无法确定如何根据新的指导方针复工,无法吸引主顾,或者可能无限期关闭。”

Big Buzz是一家位于丹佛的医疗保健营销咨询公司,其CEO温蒂·菲利普斯预计经济复苏出现“‘W’字型曲线的可能性高于‘V’字型。”菲利普将员工人数从8人削减到6人,其中有两人是在公司通过政府的小企业救助计划获得10.5万美元贷款之后,才保留住了全职岗位。

菲利普说:“未来充满了未知数。我想经济衰退至少会持续两到三年时间。”

肯尼迪政治学院的弗兰克尔等都担心在税收锐减的情况下,如果经济复苏始终乏力,各州和地方政府可能会不得不削减支出,反过来将阻碍经济增长。

另外一个威胁是企业和家庭破产和出现现金短缺的可能。虽然有些公司和家庭可以推迟缴纳租金和其他付款,但这些钱最终还是需要全部偿还给房东和其他债权人。

在1918年西班牙流感疫情期间,美国政府也曾过早宣布抗疫取得了胜利,结果疫情二次爆发,而且更具有毁灭性。在当前的新冠疫情中,韩国在确诊病例人数下降之后放宽了限制。但在与夜店关联病例达到数十例之后,首尔在上周六关闭了所有夜店、酒吧和迪厅。

上周,哥伦比亚大学梅尔曼公共卫生学院(Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health)的研究员警告,放宽居家隔离令,允许人们自由聚集,意味着“新冠肺炎新增病历和死亡人数将在5月底反弹。”

研究人员预测,在各州开始复工之后的两到四周内感染病例会出现第二波高潮。

首席研究员杰弗瑞·沙曼表示:“感染和确诊之间存在时间差,再加上检测能力和接触跟踪能力不足,将导致新冠疫情的反弹和确诊人数的飞速增长无法被及时察觉,直到疫情爆发第二轮高潮。”(财富中文网)

译者:Biz

When the coronavirus erupted in the United States, it triggered quarantines, travel curbs and business shutdowns. Many economists predicted a V-shaped journey for the economy: A sharp drop, then a quick bounce-back as the virus faded and the economy regained health.

Others envisioned a slower, U-shaped course.

Now, as President Donald Trump and many Republicans press to reopen the economy, some experts see an ominous risk: That a too-hasty relaxation of social distancing could ignite a resurgence of COVID-19 cases by fall, sending the economy back into lockdown. The result: a W-shaped disaster in which a tentative recovery would sink back into a “double-dip” recession before rebounding eventually.

“The push to reopen the economy is making a W-shaped recovery very much more likely,” said Jeffrey Frankel, professor of capital formation and growth at the Harvard Kennedy School.

In Frankel's view, any widespread reopening should wait for a sustained drop in death rates and the broad availability of tests. No one is completely safe until an effective treatment or vaccine can be produced and widely distributed — a scenario that's likely many months away.

Frankel said he also worries that the government might prematurely withdraw financial aid to the economy, thereby weakening the pillars of any tentative recovery.

“A W-shaped recovery is a distinct possibility,” said Yongseok Shin, an economist at Washington University in St. Louis and a research fellow at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. “Unless the reopening is carefully managed with extensive testing and voluntary social distancing, infections will rapidly rise in many localities.

“People will then hunker down for fear of infection, and local governments will re-impose lockdowns, quashing any economic recovery we will have had to that point.’’

A double-dip recession would significantly heighten the risks for an already debilitated U.S. economy. Congress has provided roughly $3 trillion in aid — by far its largest rescue ever — to help households and companies survive the next few months. That short-term aid, though, assumes any recovery will last. If a second downturn were to flare up, it’s far from clear that Congress would be ready to offer trillions more to enable businesses to survive yet another round of months-long shutdowns.

Nor do many companies have the cash reserves to cushion against a second recession. And just as threatening, a double-tip downturn would sap the confidence of individuals and businesses that is essential to an economic bounce-back. If consumers don’t trust that a recovery will last, many won’t resume spending, and the economy would struggle to rebound.

On Monday, plastic spacing barriers and millions of masks appeared on the streets of Europe’s newly reopened cities as France and Belgium emerged from lockdowns, the Netherlands sent children back to school and Spain allowed people to eat outdoors. All faced the delicate balance of restarting battered economies without causing a second wave of coronavirus infections.

In the United States, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has urged caution in reopening the economy. Powell has warned against taking “too much risk of second and third waves’’ of the virus.

For now, the economy is essentially in free-fall. It shed a record 20.5 million jobs in April. The unemployment rate surged to 14.7%, the highest since the Great Depression. The gross domestic product — the broadest measure of output — shrank at a 4.8% annual rate from January through March and is expected to post an astounding 40% annual collapse in the current quarter. That would be, by far, the worst on record dating to 1947.

Facing a catastrophe in an election year, Trump and many Republican allies are eager to ease restrictions and restart the economy. They say the use of masks and other protections should allow many businesses to safely reopen under certain guidelines. Trump has openly backed protests that are intended to compel governors to “liberate’’ their states from lockdowns.

But The Associated Press reported last week that many U.S. governors are disregarding White House guidelines. Seventeen states didn't meet a key benchmark set by the White House for beginning to reopen businesses: A 14-day downward trajectory in new cases or positive test rates.

Texas’ Republican lieutenant governor, Dan Patrick, has gone so far as to suggest that restarting the economy might be worth the risk of some additional deaths.

“There are more important things than living,’’ Patrick said in an interview with Fox News. “I don’t want to die, nobody wants to die, but man, we got to take some risks and get back in the game and get this country back up and running.”

Most Americans say they're wary of trying to return to business as normal now. A Pew Research Center survey found that 68% said they feared that state governments would lift restrictions too soon. Just 31% wanted restrictions lifted sooner.

“The idea that you just turn the spigot back on is just ridiculous,” said Diane Swonk, chief economist at the consulting firm Grant Thornton. ”It’s still a COVID-tainted spigot. No one wants water from a poisoned well.’’

Many businesses are also tempering their optimism. The data firm Womply found that even in Texas and Florida, states that are being especially aggressive about reopening their economies, businesses are moving slowly. Womply found only a “small-to-negligible drop’’ in the share of Texas and Florida businesses that remain closed.

“This could signal that previously closed businesses may have trouble figuring out how to open with new guidelines, attracting patrons, or may be closed indefinitely,” Womply concluded.

At Big Buzz, a health care marketing consultancy in Denver, CEO Wendy Phillips is expecting “more a W-shaped than a V-shaped’’ rebound. Phillips has reduced her staff from eight to six, two of whom kept their full-time jobs only after the government delivered a $105,000 loan under a rescue program for small businesses.

“There’s so much unknown looking forward,’’ Phillips said. “I think it’s going to be a good two or three years, at a minimum, of recession.’’

Frankel at the Harvard Kennedy School and others worry that state and local governments, hemorrhaging tax revenue, will be forced to make growth-stunting cuts just as a recovery might be straining to gain traction.

Another threat is the prospect of bankruptcies and cash shortfalls for companies and households. Some have been able to defer rent and other payments but will eventually have to repay their landlords and other creditors in full.

Likewise, U.S. authorities declared premature victory over the 1918 Spanish flu outbreak, only to see it return, deadlier than before. In the current pandemic, South Korea eased restrictions as cases dropped. But on last Saturday, Seoul had to shut down nightclubs, bars and discos after dozens of infections were linked to club goers.

Last week, researchers at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health warned that easing stay-at-home orders and allowing people to mingle more freely would mean that “new COVID-19 cases and deaths will rebound in late May.’’

The Columbia researchers predict a resurgence of cases two to four weeks after states begin to reopen.

“The lag between infection acquisition and case confirmation, coupled with insufficient testing and contact tracing, will mask any rebound and exponential growth of COVID-19 until it is well underway,” said the lead researcher, Jeffrey Shaman.

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