《经济学人》:英国将面临下一轮衰退
日期:2011-12-09 10:44

(单词翻译:单击)

The economy Autumn leaves falling 经济秋叶落了

The growing troubles in the euro zone mean Britain is set for another recession日益严重的欧元区危机,意味着英国将要面临下一轮衰退

PREPARE for some bad news. The prime minister, David Cameron, told an audience of business leaders on November 21st that shrinking the budget deficit was proving harder than anyone envisaged. His comments laid the ground for the chancellor, George Osborne, who makes his autumn statement on the economy and public finances on November 29th. The chancellor’s message is likely to be grim: a downgrade to official growth forecasts for next year and beyond seems certain. The coalition government’s hopes of eliminating the structural part of the deficit (the bit that cannot be blamed on temporary slack in the economy) and of capping public debt by the end of the current parliament are in serious doubt.
要做好坏消息的准备。12月21号,英国首相大为卡梅伦告诉场下的各位商界领袖:缩减赤字的难度非常大。在11月29号,财政部长George Osborne会发表经济和公共财政的演说,卡梅伦的言论为此次演说定下了基调。财政部长很有可能传递负面的消息——明后两年官方经济预测的下滑在所难免。联合政府希望消除经济结构问题所带来的负债,同时希望在本届议会结束之前设置公共债务的限额,而要做到这些又存在着很多疑问。

Bond markets are likely to be forgiving, given the scale of troubles elsewhere. But a failure to hit its fiscal targets would harm the coalition government’s credibility. And there is a more pressing worry. Britain’s strong links with the wretched euro zone mean that its economy is being dragged into continent-wide recession (see article). Some Conservative politicians seem to believe that Britain stands apart from the euro disaster because it has its own currency. In fact, the economy is increasingly dependent on exports, two-fifths of which are shipped to the euro zone. There is little spending power at home: consumers are still carrying a lot of debt while struggling with weak wage growth and high inflation; public spending is shrinking; and business investment has been sluggish.
考虑到这次危机的规模之大,英国债券市场的问题还可以被原谅。而联合政府未能达到财政目标,这就使得联合政府的公信力受损。英国与欧元区联系甚是紧密,这也意味着英国的经济也必将被拖入这场席卷欧洲的衰退。一些保守政客认为因为英国有独立的货币,所以他们不会席卷到这场风暴中。而事实上,英国的经济则越来越倚重出口。多达经济总量的五分之二的货物通过海运运往欧元区国家。英国国内购买力越来越低。面对低工资和高通货膨胀,消费者已经负债累累。公共支出在缩减,同时,商业投资也不景气。

Bond markets are likely to be forgiving, given the scale of troubles elsewhere. But a failure to hit its fiscal targets would harm the coalition government’s credibility. And there is a more pressing worry. Britain’s strong links with the wretched euro zone mean that its economy is being dragged into continent-wide recession (see article). Some Conservative politicians seem to believe that Britain stands apart from the euro disaster because it has its own currency. In fact, the economy is increasingly dependent on exports, two-fifths of which are shipped to the euro zone. There is little spending power at home: consumers are still carrying a lot of debt while struggling with weak wage growth and high inflation; public spending is shrinking; and business investment has been sluggish.
更糟糕的是,英国购买了很多的欧元重灾区的债务。英国银行放款给爱尔兰,西班牙,意大利,葡萄牙和希腊。截止到六月份,放款总额为3500亿美元,相当于其GDP的15%。商业和银行投放大多数款项,但是政府的款项也占到10%。同时,政府也间接放出一些款项。6月份,又一笔2100亿银行资产贷款给了法国和德国的银行,这些钱之后会间接借给意大利和西班牙。

Growing anxiety about public finances in Europe has sapped confidence in banks which are big holders of government bonds. And the rush by European banks to sell bonds of the least creditworthy sovereigns has made things worse. European banks are finding it harder to refinance their own debts at reasonable interest rates, and funding costs are rising for British banks too. That will eventually feed through to higher interest rates on loans to companies and consumers. Banks nervous about euro-zone assets turning sour and keen to preserve scarce capital will be cautious about making new loans, which will only add to the recessionary forces.
作为政府债券最大的持有者,银行对于欧洲公共财政状况越来越不安。欧洲银行争先甩卖低信用度的主权债券,这也使得如今的状况变的更加糟糕。在合理的利率范围内,欧洲银行也意识到为债务筹措资金越发困难。同时,在英国,银行融资成本也随之水涨船高。而这些最终必将由提升企业和个人的贷款利率进行填补。面对日益变质的欧洲区资产,银行界十分紧张,与此同时,他们也希望能够能保留仅剩下的资产。因此,他们对于新贷款也越发小心,因为增加贷款这只能加速衰退。

Businesses will soon be caught up in this spiral of ever-diminishing confidence. Firms know that credit lines cannot be relied upon when banks and financial markets shun all but the safest investments. There are already reports that firms are postponing purchases and trimming their stocks of supplies to conserve cash. Cuts to discretionary spending, such as capital projects or advertising, will become more common as the euro crisis intensifies and uncertainty and anxiety increase.
业界信心普遍下降,企业人士不久也会卷入其中。因为银行和金融市场限制所有贷款,只保留最安全的那部分,因而工厂也意识到不能再依赖信用额度了。有消息称工厂推迟其购买,削减部分发行股票,用现钞保值。由于欧元区危机加重,以及一些不确定性和不安因素,企业会越发频繁对像资本项目和广告这类选择性的花销进行削减。

How far might the economy fall? The central case of the Bank of England’s monetary-policy committee is that output will be broadly flat in the current quarter and in the first half of 2012, though it thinks a worse outcome is more likely than a better one. Its forecast excludes the possibility of a big euro-zone blow-up, not because this is improbable but because there is no meaningful way to calculate its impact. Fear that the euro zone will disintegrate will itself weigh on the economy.
经济衰退还要多久?尽管不好的情况发生的可能性比较大,英国央行货币政策委员会公布的数据:产出量本季度和明年一季度会与之前持平。英国的预测也放大了欧元区危机爆发的危机程度。不是因为无法预测他,而是没有可行的方法来测算其影响。对于欧元区的担心也加重了对于其自身经济的担忧。

Absent a complete meltdown, the second dip of a double-dip recession ought to be smaller than the first, because there are fewer excesses to correct. Britain’s current-account deficit is closer to balance. The household savings rate is a healthy 7.2%, which means consumers have a bigger cushion between their income and spending than they did when recession first struck in 2008. There is less capital spending to cut back on: companies are already sitting on piles of cash. And the flow of capital seeking a haven from the euro crisis will sustain demand for British government bonds, for fancy houses, and for other assets deemed to be safer than euro-zone banks or bonds. Real household income is likely to rise modestly in 2012 after falling sharply this year because of high inflation and tax increases, notes Kevin Daly of Goldman Sachs.
英国并未和欧元区完全融合,而且在这次的危机中,英国也没有什么要纠正的失职失误。因此,这一轮的衰退应该比上一次状况要好。而且目前的英国账务赤字接近于均衡。家庭储蓄率也达7.2%。相对2008年的衰退来说,在此健康的利率下,消费者在收入和花销之间有相对更大的缓冲货币。资本支出削减程度也更加有限,而且企业界现在也存有大量的现金。同时,流动资本也在寻找这轮危机中的避风港。资本将会维持对于英国政府债务,奢华的住宅以及一些其他资产的需求,在这些领域投资要比欧洲银行的债务要安全得多。由于高通胀以及税收的增加,不动产收益讲可能在2012年有平稳增长。

Yet the likely recession will strain public finances. Figures for the first seven months of the financial year suggest that the government is roughly on track to meet its borrowing target of £122 billion (around 8% of GDP) for 2011-12. Yet the number of people claiming unemployment benefit has risen each month since March (see chart). Many economists believe the Office for Budget Responsibility, the independent fiscal watchdog, will take a dimmer view of the economy’s medium-term prospects. That would imply less of the budget deficit will be eroded as the economy expands to its full potential, and that more of it is therefore structural.
这场衰退有可能限制公共财政支出。2011-12财政年度的前7个月统计数据显示政府已经大致完成其借款目标——1220亿英镑。自3月以来,获得失业金的人数每月都在上升。血多经济学家认为独立的财政监督——预算责任部会对中期经济前景会有更低的预期。经济会发挥到最大潜力而且大部分赤字是结构性的,这意味着更少的预算赤字会坏账赖账。

This leaves Mr Osborne in an uncomfortable position as he prepares his autumn statement. He has made it clear that he does not regard it as a fiscal event where spending and tax changes are announced; that will be saved for the budget in March. But it is a political set-piece all the same. So the chancellor will try to knit together a variety of small, fairly cheap policy strands, such as measures to help small businesses with credit, into a coherent growth strategy. Given the unfolding catastrophe on Britain’s doorstep, it is likely to look threadbare.
Osbron先生正在准备秋季演说,而之前的预计也让他感到不太舒服。虽然这次演说中会公布支出和税收变化以及3月份削减的额度,但他想让别人明白他不会把这次演说当成一次财政事件,归根到底,这是一次政治化决策。财政部长会编织出一系列的小型和低成本措施,比如说帮助一些信用良好的小型企业制定一个连贯的增值计划。的确可能有些老生常谈了,不过这就是摆在英国面前的现实问题。

recession n. 后退, 不景气
shrink v. 收缩
coalition n. 结合
euro n.欧元
sap v. 使大伤元气
discretionary adj. 任意的
watchdog n. 监督人
coherent adj. 互相密合着的, 连贯的

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重点单词
  • spiraln. 旋涡,螺旋形之物 adj. 螺旋形的,盘旋的 v.
  • forecastn. 预测,预报 v. 预测
  • reasonableadj. 合理的,适度的,通情达理的
  • calculatev. 计算,估计,核算,计划,认为
  • independentadj. 独立的,自主的,有主见的 n. 独立派人士,无
  • primeadj. 最初的,首要的,最好的,典型的 n. 青春,壮
  • pressingadj. 紧迫的,紧急的 press的现在分词
  • uncertaintyn. 不确定,不可靠,半信半疑 (学术)不可信度; 偏差
  • havenn. 港口,避难所,安息所 v. 安置 ... 于港中,
  • cautiousadj. 十分小心的,谨慎的