Opinion

疫情對全球經濟的結構性改變或比想像的更深

現在是時候重新思考我們目前經濟模式中的基本原理,來減輕這些影響。

By: Date: January 21, 2021 Topic: Global Economics & Governance

This opinion piece was first published on etnet.

有觀點認為,沒有哪個字母的形狀可以準確描述疫情大流行後世界經濟的演進,我完全同意這一觀點。很明顯我們既無法期待經濟V形快速恢復,也不會像L形一樣完全停滯不前。

疫情後經濟發展呈「根號」形

最新的經濟復甦形式為K型,反映了包括中產階級在內的贏家和輸家之間越來越大的差距。除了字母,我想用另一種不同的符號來描述疫情後的經濟:根號。根號起筆是陡峭的上升,雖然大流行尚未完全平息,但與目前經濟正在回暖的趨勢符合。

但快速回升之後是結構性的經濟放緩。換言之,疫情帶來的問題不僅是經濟活動的突然中斷,更是隨之而來的持久負面影響。

其中的關鍵問題是:為何疫情大流行會導致增長降低?

疫情導致經濟增長下降的四個原因

首先,企業的利潤下降,並會以削減固定資產投資作為應對策略。

第二,世界範圍內收入分配情況都將惡化。事實上,疫情已經導致全球企業的盈利能力嚴重惡化,與2008年全球金融危機時期相似,企業想要恢復利潤和盈利能力,首當其衝的是削減雇員和薪資。這會使得本就不樂觀的收入分配更加雪上加霜。

換言之,單位勞動力成本存在大幅下降的壓力,家庭購買力也不可避免地會隨之降低。此外,超寬鬆貨幣政策引發的資產價格泡沫,會進一步擴大工人階級和有能力投資金融資產的群體之間的差距。

第三,國家對經濟的介入導致僵屍企業份額增加。利率始終保持較低水準,這類並無生產成果的企業也有可能持續從政府的優惠政策獲得資金。

第四,全球金融動盪可能是疫情帶來的意外後果之一,原因是流入新興經濟體的資本波動較大,並且市場對美元作為儲備貨幣的角色產生了疑慮。

資本流動不穩定

極度充裕的全球流動性和避險情緒波動相結合,可能導致資本流動高度不穩定,這對許多新興經濟體至關重要。新興國家越對外部融資的依賴越高,就資本流動波動性和經濟表現而言,這種情況帶來的影響就會越大。

金融動盪的另一個來源是世界對於美元的角色逐漸產生疑慮,原因在於美國缺乏領導力,美國外債急劇增加以及美聯儲的超擴張性貨幣政策等等。
中國也非常清楚美元作為儲備貨幣對美國長期霸權的重要性以及美國將之武器化以滿足自身利益,這顯然與中國的利益不一致。

教育中斷
最後一個原因是全球教育和培訓的中斷導致人力資源流失。鑒於疫情對未來幾年家庭收入的負面影響,未來很多年內的生育率勢必會下降。
在對以上各項原因進行詳細分析後會發現,超低利率環境將會持續,中期內經濟增長下降似乎是不可避免的。人力資源的流失、投資驟降帶來的金融資本的損失,加之企業破產對商業結構的破壞,這些都將產生持久的影響,需求政策也無力改變。

社會改革的需要
能帶來緩衝作用的只有創新和社會規範的變化,包括數位化快速發展,經濟活動進一步綠色化等等。因此,在技術和社會革新方面需要做出努力,才有可能抵消潛在增長率降低的趨勢。
總體而言,疫情對經濟產生的中期影響對企業、家庭和政府來說都並不樂觀。對世界經濟造成的影響是前所未有的,而且不僅出於當下的直接影響。
現在是時候重新思考我們目前經濟模式中的基本原理,來減輕這些影響。


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