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        經濟學人:美國陷經濟寒冬,春天還有多遠?(2)

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        Other real-time measures capture economic activity more broadly. The share of small firms which have temporarily closed is probably rising. Consumer spending in the week ending November 22nd was down by 5% compared with the one before, according to Cardify, a data provider. Using mobility data from Google, The Economist has constructed an economic-activity index measuring visits to workplaces, transport hubs and places of retail and recreation. After rising steadily during the autumn, the index has fallen back—though America still looks better than Europe, where the economic-activity index has crashed as governments have imposed another round of lockdowns. JPMorgan Chase, a bank, produces an estimate of monthly American GDP growth from a range of real-time data. In a report published on December 2nd, it suggests that output stopped growing in November.

        其他實時指標能夠更廣泛地捕捉經濟活動。暫時關閉的小公司所占比例可能正在上升。數據提供方Cardify稱,截至11月22日的一周內,消費者支出較前一周下降了5%?!督洕鷮W人》利用谷歌提供的移動數據,構建了一個經濟活動指數,該指數可用來衡量對工作場所、交通樞紐以及零售和娛樂場所的訪問量。該指數在秋季穩步上升之后已經回落。不過美國的情況看起來仍然比歐洲好,由于歐洲各國政府實施了新一輪的封鎖,歐洲的經濟活動指數已經崩潰。摩根大通銀行根據一系列實時數據對美國月度國內生產總值增長進行了估算。12月2日發表的一份報告顯示美國11月份的產出已經停止增長。

        Three factors explain the slowdown. To some extent it was inevitable. Loosening lockdowns had allowed millions of people to return to work and start spending again. But there was no comparable loosening of coronavirus restrictions after that. So it was never realistic for America to repeat the 7.4% quarter-on-quarter GDP growth that it saw in July to September.

        三個因素解釋了美國經濟放緩的原因。在某種程度上,這是不可避免的。放松封鎖使數百萬人重返工作崗位,重新開始消費。但是在那之后再沒有出現類似放松冠狀病毒限制的情況。因此,對美國來說,GDP季度環比增長重新達到7月至9月的7.4%是不現實的。

        winter.jpg

        Fiscal policy is the second factor. Another reason the economy bounced back so quickly in the summer was the enormous generosity of the stimulus packages agreed by Congress in the spring, worth some $3trn (or 14% of GDP). Yet Congress has so far failed to agree to another one, even though the most bullish forecasters still reckon a package worth over $500bn is required to help the economy back to some semblance of normality. A programme set up by President Donald Trump to raise unemployment- insurance (UI) payments by $300 a week, which had boosted aggregate household incomes by 1.5%, wound down in October. States and local governments, facing a severe budget crunch, cut over 1m jobs in the first six months of the pandemic, more than they lost even during the financial crisis of 2007 to 09.

        財政政策是第二個因素。美國經濟在夏季如此迅速反彈的另一個原因是國會在春季通過的慷慨的一攬子經濟刺激方案,價值約30萬億美元(相當于GDP的14%)。然而國會迄今仍未通過另一項經濟刺激方案,盡管最樂觀的預測人士仍認為,要幫助美國經濟恢復正常狀態,需要一個價值5000多億美元的一攬子經濟刺激方案。美國總統唐納德·特朗普設立了一項每周提供額外300美元失業救濟金的計劃,該計劃曾使美國家庭總收入增加了1.5%,但在10月份結束。美國各州和地方政府面臨嚴重的預算緊縮危機,他們在大流行的前六個月削減了100多萬個工作崗位,甚至超過了2007-09年金融危機期間的職位損失。

        The third and most important reason for the slowdown is the virus itself. Until recently many Americans, especially in Republican- leaning areas, seemed oddly happy to go about their business as normal. In South Dakota in September and October, for instance, visitors to sites of retail and recreation were 1.5% higher than usual for that time of year, even as coronavirus infections surged. Analysis by The Economist, drawing on Google data and work by Mark Muro and colleagues at the Brookings Institution, a think-tank, found that in the summer and autumn people in pro-Trump areas were half as likely to avoid public places as people living in areas that had voted for Joe Biden.

        美國經濟放緩的第三個也是最重要的原因就是病毒本身。直到最近,奇怪的是,許多美國人似乎樂于像往常一樣忙活自己的事情,特別是在傾向于共和黨的地區。例如,在南達科他州的9月和10月,盡管冠狀病毒感染激增,但零售和娛樂場所的游客比往年同一時間段增加了1.5%?!督洕鷮W人》利用谷歌數據和智庫布魯金斯學會的馬克·穆羅及其同事的研究成果分析發現,在夏季和秋季,支持特朗普的地區的民眾避開公共場所的可能性是投票支持喬·拜登的地區的民眾的一半。

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