20201010 经济学人 Winners and losers

Winners and losers
赢家和输家

The pandemic has caused the world’s economies to diverge
新冠病毒大流行导致世界经济分化

But its long-term impact will be even more far-reaching
但其长期影响将更加深远

2020年10月8日|

IN FEBRUARY THE coronavirus pandemic struck the world economy with the biggest shock since the second world war. Lockdowns and a slump in consumer spending led to a labour-market implosion in which the equivalent of nearly 500m full-time jobs disappeared almost overnight. World trade shuddered as factories shut down and countries closed their borders. An even deeper economic catastrophe was avoided thanks only to unprecedented interventions in financial markets by central banks, government aid to workers and failing firms, and the expansion of budget deficits to near-wartime levels.

2月,冠状病毒大流行给世界经济造成了自第二次世界大战以来的最大冲击。封锁和消费者支出的下滑导致了劳动力市场的崩溃,相当于近5亿个全职工作几乎在一夜之间消失了。随着工厂关闭和国家关闭边界,世界贸易动摇。由于中央银行对金融市场进行了前所未有的干预,政府对工人和破产企业的援助以及预算赤字扩大到接近战时水平,才避免了更为严重的经济灾难。

The crash was synchronised. As a recovery takes place, however, huge gaps between the performance of countries are opening up—which could yet recast the world’s economic order. By the end of next year, according to forecasts by the OECD, America’s economy will be the same size as it was in 2019 but China’s will be 10% larger. Europe will still languish beneath its pre-pandemic level of output and could do so for several years—a fate it may share with Japan, which is suffering a demographic squeeze. It is not just the biggest economic blocs that are growing at different speeds. In the second quarter of this year, according to UBS, a bank, the distribution of growth rates across 50 economies was at its widest for at least 40 years.

但是,随着经济复苏,国家之间的巨大差距正在拉大,这可能会重塑世界经济秩序。根据经合组织的预测,到明年年底,美国的经济规模将与2019年相同,但中国的经济规模将增长10%。欧洲仍将处于大流行前的产出水平之下,并且可能会持续数年之久,这可能会与正遭受人口紧缩的日本一样。不仅最大的经济集团以不同的速度增长。瑞银(UBS)的数据显示,今年第二季度,全球50个经济体的增长率分布至少是40年来最大的。

The variation is the result of differences between countries. Most important is the spread of the disease. China has all but stopped it while Europe, and perhaps soon America, is battling a costly second wave. Over the past week Paris has closed its bars and Madrid has gone into partial lockdown. In China, meanwhile, you can now down sambuca shots in nightclubs. Another difference is the pre-existing structure of economies. It is far easier to operate factories under social distancing than it is to run service-sector businesses that rely on face-to-face contact. Manufacturing makes up a bigger share of the economy in China than in any other big country. A third factor is the policy response. This is partly about size: America has injected more stimulus than Europe, including spending worth 12% of GDP and a 1.5 percentage point cut in short-term interest rates. But policy also includes how governments respond to the structural changes and creative destruction the pandemic is causing.

这种差异是国家之间差异的结果。最重要的是疾病的传播。中国几乎停止了它,而欧洲,也许很快就是美国,正在与代价高昂的第二波斗争。在过去的一周里,巴黎已经关闭了酒吧,马德里也进入了部分禁闭状态。与此同时,在中国,你现在可以在夜总会中一口闷桑布卡。另一个区别是经济的既有结构。在社会隔离下经营工厂要比经营依靠面对面接触的服务行业企业容易得多。制造业在中国经济中所占的比重超过任何其他大国。第三个因素是政策反应。这部分与规模有关:美国比欧洲出台了更多的刺激措施,包括支出相当于GDP的12%和短期利率下调了1.5个百分点。但是政策还包括政府如何应对这种流行病造成的结构变化和创造性破坏。

As our special report this week explains, these adjustments will be immense. The pandemic will leave economies less globalised, more digitised and less equal. As they cut risks in their supply chains and harness automation, manufacturers will bring production closer to home. As office workers continue to work in their kitchens and bedrooms for at least part of the week, lower-paid workers who previously toiled as waiters, cleaners and sales assistants will need to find new jobs in the suburbs. Until they do, they could face long spells of unemployment. In America permanent job losses are mounting even as the headline unemployment rate falls (see article).

正如我们本周的特别报告所解释的那样,这些调整将是巨大的。大流行将使经济体的全球化程度降低,数字化程度提高,平等程度降低。随着他们削减供应链的风险并利用自动化,制造商将把生产带到离本土更近的地方。随着上班族至少在一周中的一部分时间继续在厨房和卧室工作,以前曾当过服务员,清洁工和销售助理的低薪工人将需要在郊区找到新工作。除非他们这样做,否则他们可能会面临长期的失业。在美国,即使整体失业率下降,永久性失业也正在增加(见文章)。

As more activity moves online, business will become more dominated by firms with the most advanced intellectual property and the biggest repositories of data; this year’s boom in technology stocks gives a sense of what is coming, as does the digital surge in the banking industry (see our leader on Ant Group). And low real interest rates will keep asset prices high even if economies remain weak. This will widen the gulf between Wall Street and Main Street that emerged after the global financial crisis and which has worsened this year. The challenge for democratic governments will be to adapt to all these changes while maintaining popular consent for their policies and for free markets.

随着越来越多的活动在网上进行,商业活动将更多地由拥有最先进知识产权和最大数据存储库的公司主导;今年科技股的繁荣给人一种即将到来的感觉,银行业的数字化浪潮也是如此。即使经济保持疲软,较低的实际利率也会使资产价格居高不下。这将扩大华尔街与美国主要街道之间在全球金融危机后出现的鸿沟,而这一差距在今年已经恶化。民主政府面临的挑战将是适应所有这些变化,同时保持民众对其政策和自由市场的赞同。

That is not a concern for China, which so far seems to be emerging from the pandemic strongest—at least in the short run. Its economy has bounced back quickly. Later this month its leaders will agree on a new five-year plan which emphasises Xi Jinping’s model of high-tech state capitalism and increasing self-sufficiency. Yet the virus has exposed longer-term flaws in China’s economic apparatus. It has no safety-net worth the name and this year had to focus its stimulus on firms and infrastructure investment rather than shoring up household incomes. And in the long run its system of surveillance and state control, which made brutal lockdowns possible, is likely to impede the diffuse decision-making and free movement of people and ideas that sustain innovation and raise living standards.

对于中国来说,这不是一个问题,到目前为止,中国似乎已从新冠病毒大流行中摆脱出来,至少在短期内如此。其经济迅速反弹。然而,该病毒暴露了中国经济机构的长期缺陷。它没有安全净资产这个说法,今年不得不把刺激重点放在企业和基础设施投资上,而不是增加家庭收入。

Europe is the laggard. Its response to the pandemic risks ossifying economies there, rather than letting them adjust. In its five biggest economies, 5% of the labour force remains on short-work schemes in which the government pays them to await the return of jobs or hours that may never come back (see article). In Britain the proportion is twice as high. Across the continent, suspended bankruptcy rules, tacit forbearance by banks and a flood of discretionary state aid risk prolonging the life of zombie firms that should be allowed to fail. This is all the more worrying given that, before the crisis, France and Germany were already embracing an industrial policy that promoted national champions. If Europe sees the pandemic as a further reason to nurture a cosy relationship between government and incumbent businesses, its long-term relative decline could accelerate.

欧洲是落后的。欧洲对新冠病毒大流行的反应可能使那里的经济僵化,而不是让经济进行调整。在其五个最大的经济体中,有5%的劳动力仍然从事短期工作计划,在这种计划中,政府向他们支付工资以等待可能永远不会回来的工作或工时的返回(请参阅文章)。在英国,这一比例是的10%。在整个欧洲大陆,破产规则的暂停,银行的宽容和大量的国家援助,延长了(应允许其破产的)僵尸公司的寿命。考虑到在危机之前,法国和德国已经采取了促进国家龙头企业的工业政策,这更加令人担忧。如果欧洲将新冠病毒大流行视为在政府与现有企业之间建立友好关系的又一个理由,那么其长期相对衰落可能会加速。

The question-mark is America. For much of the year it got the policy balance roughly right. It provided a more generous safety-net for the jobless and a larger stimulus than might have been expected in the home of capitalism. Wisely, it also allowed the labour market to adjust and has shown less inclination than Europe to bail out firms that are in danger of becoming obsolete as the economy adjusts. Partly as a result, unlike Europe, America is already seeing the creation of many new jobs.

在一年的大部分时间里,美国的政策平衡大致都正确。它为失业者提供了更慷慨的安全网,并提供了比资本家所预期的更大的经济刺激。明智地,它还允许劳动力市场进行调整,并且显示出比欧洲更少的意愿来纾困那些可能因经济调整而过时的公司。因此,与欧洲不同,美国已经看到了许多新工作的创造。

Instead America’s weakness is toxic and divided politics. This week President Donald Trump seemed to ditch talks over renewing its stimulus, meaning that the economy could fall over a fiscal cliff. Critical reforms, whether to redesign the safety-net for a tech-driven economy or to put deficits on a sustainable course, are all but impossible while two warring tribes define compromise as weakness. Covid-19 is imposing a new economic reality. Every country will be called on to adapt, but America faces a daunting task. If it is to lead the post-pandemic world, it will have to reset its politics.

相反,美国的弱点是有毒和分裂的政治。本周,美国总统唐纳德·特朗普似乎放弃了有关重启刺激方案的讨论,这意味着经济可能会跌落财政悬崖。关键的改革,无论是重新设计技术驱动型经济的安全网,还是让赤字走上可持续的道路,几乎都是不可能的,而交战的两帮人把妥协定义为软弱。Covid-19强加了新的经济现实。每个国家都将被要求进行适应,但是美国面临艰巨的任务。如果要领导新冠病毒大流行后的世界,它将不得不重新设置其政治。

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