学霸的完美阅读材料 | 看经济学人如何分析世界经济



2017-4-27 16:40

在各类英语考试中,阅读材料有很多都来自于《经济学人》,今天就为大家带来这篇《The world economy》,各位学霸们不要错过——

ECONOMIC and political cycles have a habit of being out of sync. Just ask George Bush senior, who lost the presidential election in 1992 because voters blamed him for the recent recession. Or Chancellor Gerhard Schr?der, booted out by German voters in 2005 after imposing painful reforms, only to see Angela Merkel reap the rewards.


Today, almost ten years after the most severe financial crisis since the Depression, a broad-based economic upswing is at last under way. In America, Europe, Asia and the emerging markets, for the first time since a brief rebound in 2010, all the burners are firing at once.


But the political mood is sour. A populist rebellion, nurtured by years of sluggish growth, is still spreading. Globalisation is out of favour. An economic nationalist sits in the White House. This week all eyes were on Dutch elections featuring Geert Wilders, a Dutch Islamophobic ideologue, just one of many European malcontents.

但是政治气氛却令人失望。因多年经济增长缓慢而滋生的民粹主义反叛仍在蔓延。全球化不受待见。主政白宫的是一位经济民族主义者。本周,所有人都盯着荷兰大选,主角是荷兰的反穆斯林倡导者海尔特·维尔德斯(Geert Wilders),而他仅仅是欧洲众多对现实不满者之一。


This dissonance is dangerous. If populist politicians win credit for a more buoyant economy, their policies will gain credence, with potentially devastating effects. As a long-awaited upswing lifts spirits and spreads confidence, the big question is: what lies behind it?


The past decade has been marked by false dawns, in which optimism at the start of a year has been undone—whether by the euro crisis, wobbles in emerging markets, the collapse of the oil price or fears of a meltdown in China. America’s economy has kept growing, but always into a headwind. A year ago, the Federal Reserve had expected to raise interest rates four times in 2016. Global frailties put paid to that.


Now things are different. This week the Fed raised rates for the second time in three months—thanks partly to the vigour of the American economy, but also because of growth everywhere else. Fears about Chinese overcapacity, and of a yuan devaluation, have receded. In February factory-gate inflation was close to a nine-year high. In Japan in the fourth quarter capital expenditure grew at its fastest rate in three years. The euro area has been gathering speed since 2015. The European Commission’s economic-sentiment index is at its highest since 2011; euro-zone unemployment is at its lowest since 2009.

现在的情况则不同。本周美联储三个月来第二次加息,部分原因是美国经济的活力,但也多亏了全球各地的增长,对中国产能过剩以及人民币贬值的担忧已经消退。2月,中国工业品出厂价格涨幅已接近九年来最高点。日本第四季度资本支出的增长达到三年来最快速度。欧元区自2015年以来逐渐提速。欧盟委员会的经济景气指数(economic-sentiment index)达到2011年以来的最高点;欧元区失业率则为2009年以来最低。

The bellwethers of global activity look sprightly, too. In February South Korea, a proxy for world trade, notched up export growth above 20%. Taiwanese manufacturers have posted 12 consecutive months of expansion. Even in places inured to recession the worst is over. The Brazilian economy has been shrinking for eight quarters but, with inflation expectations tamed, interest rates are now falling. Brazil and Russia are likely to add to global GDP this year, not subtract from it. The Institute of International Finance reckons that in January the developing world hit its fastest monthly rate of growth since 2011.

全球经济活动的风向标看起来也很有活力。作为全球贸易的风向标,韩国2月出口增长超过20%。台湾制造企业已经连续12个月扩大生产。即便是深陷衰退的地方,最坏的境况也已过去。巴西和俄罗斯有望为今年全球GDP增长做出贡献,而不再是拖后腿。据国际金融研究所(The Institute of International Finance)估算,1月发展中国家的月增长率已达2011年来的最快水平。

This is not to say the world economy is back to normal. Oil prices fell by 10% in the week to March 15th on renewed fears of oversupply; a sustained fall would hurt the economies of producers more than it would benefit consumers. China’s build-up of debt is of enduring concern. Productivity growth in the rich world remains weak. Outside America, wages are still growing slowly. And in America, surging business confidence has yet to translate into surging investment.