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【每日晨读】经济学人GRE双语阅读 美联储稳定利率应对通货膨胀

2017年12月04日11:12 来源:互联网
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【每日晨读】经济学人GRE双语阅读 美联储稳定利率应对通货膨胀图1

American monetary policy——Check yourself

美国货币政策:自查

The Federal Reserve should respond to lower inflation by holding interest rates steady.

美联储应该通过稳定利率不变来应对过低的通货膨胀率。

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No statement from the Federal Reserve is complete without a promise to make decisions based on the data.

在美联储的声明中,并未完全承诺以这些数据作为决策依据。

In each of the past two years, a souring outlook for the world economy prompted the Fed to delay interest-rate rises.

在过去两年中,每年的世界经济前景的恶化促使美联储延缓加息。

And quite right, too.

这种行为非常正确。

Yet if the Fed raises rates on June 14th in the face of low inflation, as it has strongly hinted, it would bring into question its commitment both to the data and also to its 2% inflation target.

然而,如果美联储在面对低通胀率的情况下于6月14日像曾经暗示的那样进行加息,那么它关于基于数据制定政策和维持2%以下通胀率的承诺将会受到质疑。

The central bank has raised rates three times since December 2015 (the latest rise came in March).

2015年12月以来,中央银行已经进行了三次加息(上一次是在今年三月)。

It is good that monetary policy is a little tighter than it was back then. The unemployment rate, at 4.3%, is lower than at any time since early 2001.

好的作用是货币政策比过去更紧缩,失业率降到了4.3%,达到2001年以来最低点。

A broad range of earnings data show a modest pickup in wage growth.

大范围的营收数据显示工资正在温和增长。

The Fed is right to think that it is better to slow the economy gradually than be forced to bring it to a screeching halt later, if wage and price rises get out of hand.

美联储的想法完全没错,逐渐放缓经济比之后当工资和物价突然失控被迫急刹车来得好。

The rate increases to date have been reasonable insurance against an inflationary surge.

目前为止,加息已经成为应对通胀率飙升的一种合理的保险方式。

But no such surge has yet struck.

但是目前为止通胀飙升还从未发生。

Unexpectedly low inflation in both March and April has left consumer prices no higher than they were in January.

三四月份出乎意料的低通胀率使消费价格比一月更低。

According to the Fed's preferred index, core inflation—that is, excluding volatile food and energy prices—has fallen to 1.5%, down from 1.8% earlier this year. It is now well below the 2% target.

根据美联储惯用的核心通胀指数(一种排除了价格不稳定的食物与能源价格的指数),通胀率已经从年初的1.8%降到了1.5%,并且如今稳定的保持在2%的目标以下。

Nor does a surge seem imminent.

通胀飙升看起来并不是迫在眉睫的问题。

For a while, Donald Trump's promises to cut taxes and spend freely on infrastructure made higher rates appear all the wiser.

短时间内,特朗普政府做出的关于减税和鼓励在基础设施建设上自由支出的承诺使得高利率显得十分明智。

But fiscal stimulus looks less likely by the week.

但是财政刺激看起来不太可能在本周出现。

Tax cuts are stuck in the legislative queue behind health-care reform, and Mr Trump's administration has tied itself in knots over whether it will increase the deficit.

减税政策继医保改革之后也进入了立法队列里,特朗普政府纠结于减税是否会加大赤字。

Meanwhile, the current “infrastructure week” in Washington may generate more headlines than proper plans.

于此同时,当前的“华盛顿基础设施周”只会制造更多的新闻头条而不是产生更合理的计划。

Even so, the Fed is expected to go ahead and raise rates this month.

即便如此,美联储预计还会在本月继续加息。

The markets think there is a 90% probability of an increase of 25 basis points (hundredths of a percentage point).

市场认为美联储这次有90%的可能性上调25个基准点(0.01个百分点)。

【每日晨读】经济学人GRE双语阅读 美联储稳定利率应对通货膨胀图2

It is possible that more inflation is coming.

更多的通货膨胀可能正在到来。

An economy that is stimulated will eventually overheat.

受刺激的经济最终将会过热。

The central bank may believe that low unemployment is about to cause inflation.

央行可能认为低失业率导致了通货膨胀。

But the truth is that nobody is sure how far unemployment can fall before prices and wages soar.

但事实上没有人可以确定在物价和工资飙升之前,失业率能下降多少。

Not many years ago some rate-setters put this “natural” rate of unemployment at over 6%; the median rate-setter's estimate is now 4.7%.

就在几年前,一些利率制定者将自然失业率定在6%以上,但是现在他们估测自然失业率中位数仅为4.7%。

The only way to find the labour market's limits is to feel them out.

找出劳动力市场的限制因素的唯一方法就是去亲自体会它们。

Falling inflation and middling wage growth both suggest that these limits are some way off, for two possible reasons.

不断下降的通胀率和中等的工资增长都表明,这些限制因素多少有些不合实际,其原因有二。

First, higher wage growth could yet tempt more of the jobless to seek work (those who are not actively job-hunting do not count as unemployed).

第一,更高的薪水增长会吸引更多的失业者去寻找工作(不积极找工作的人不算失业者)。

The proportion of 25- to 54-year-olds in employment is lower than before the recession, by an amount representing almost 2.4m people.

如今25至54岁就业者的比率比经济衰退时期前更低,大约为240万人。

By this measure, which fell in May, joblessness is worse in America than in France, where the overall unemployment rate stands at 9.5%.

以这个方式来衡量,五月的就业率是下降的,美国的失业率比法国更高,整体失业率达到9.5%。

Second, even the moderate pickup in wage growth to date might encourage firms to invest more, lifting productivity out of the doldrums and dampening inflationary pressure.

第二,目前工资增长的明显好转可能会鼓励企业增加投资,来提升生产力以脱离不景气,减少通胀压力。

Jobs growth in America has already slowed from a monthly average of 187,000 in 2016 to 121,000 in the past three months.

美国的就业增长从2016年的月平均187000人已经减少到了最近三个月的平均121000人。

That is enough to reduce slack in the economy, but only just.

这足够减少经济的不景气所带来的影响了,但也仅仅是刚刚好。

Slowing it still further is needless so long as inflation remains quiescent.

只要通胀率保持不变,进一步放缓就显得不重要了。

It makes still less sense when you consider the asymmetry of risks before the Fed.

当你在美联储之前考虑到风险的不对称性时,它就没有什么意义了。

If tighter money tips the economy into recession, the central bank has only a little bit of room to cut rates before it hits zero.

如果货币紧缩政策导致了经济衰退,那么央行在其到利率零点之前就仅有一点点空间来削减它了。

But if inflation rises, it can raise them as much as it likes.

但是如果通胀率继续上升,央行就可以任意加息了。

This asymmetry of risks extends to the Fed's credibility.

这种风险不对称性延伸倒了美联储的信誉。

Inflation has been below 2% for 59 of the 63 months since the target was announced in January 2012.

从2012年一月美联储宣布这个目标以来,通胀率已经在63个月中有59个月保持在2%以下。

Continuing to undershoot the goal would cast more doubt on the central bank's commitment to it than modest overshoots would.

比起适度的超过,继续脱离这个目标会使央行遭到更多对其曾经承诺的目标的质疑。

For too long, hawks have made excuses for the persistence of low inflation.

长久以来,鹰派以很多理由来保持低通胀率。

The latest is to blame new contracts offering unlimited amounts of mobile data, as if cheaper telecommunications somehow should not count.

最新的一个理由是指责那些新合同提供了不限量的移动数据,似乎廉价的电信数据不应计算在内。

The Fed should keep its promise to base its decisions on the data, and leave interest rates exactly where they are.

美联储应继续坚守自己的承诺,它基于数据做出决定,并且保持利率精确的走向。

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