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经济学人:价格分析 Parsing prices

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Finance and Economics;Inflation around the world;Parsing prices;

财经;全球通胀;价格分析
Rising inflation is not as worrisome as it appears, at least for now.
通胀没有看上去那么可怕,至少现在如此。
Inflation is back. Despite a weak recovery in much of the world, the threat of rising prices preoccupies policymakers and the public. Concerns are greatest in emerging markets. Inflation stands at 4.6% in China and 5.9% in Brazil; in India it is almost 10%, if below last year's high. But it is on the rich world's agenda, too (see chart).
通胀回来了。尽管世界上大部分地区有略微的恢复,但是价格上涨的威胁仍萦绕在政策制定者和公众的心头。这种焦虑在新兴市场最为严重。中国通胀率维持在4.6%,巴西是5.9%,在印度,如果说通胀率比去年最高点低的话也达到了近10%。但是,通胀也提上了富国的议事日程。(见图)

Euro-area inflation hit 2.4% in January, according to data out this week. Jean-Claude Trichet, the president of the European Central Bank, has been talking tough, recalling the ECB's July 2008 rate rise when concern over inflation trumped a wobbling economy. In Britain inflation has been above its 2% target since December 2009 and stood at 3.7% in December. Mervyn King, the governor of the Bank of England, gave warning in January that it will soon climb to 4-5%. Even in America, where inflation has been at historic lows, it jumped to 1.5% at the end of last year.

根据本周发布的数据,欧元区1月份的通胀率达2.4%。欧洲中央银行行长让-克罗德·特里谢(Jean-Claude Trichet)回忆起欧洲央行2008年7月上调利率,那时通胀的忧虑超过了了摇摇欲坠的经济。在英国,通胀从2009年12月起通胀已超过其2%的目标,2010年12月保持在3.7%。英国央行行长默文·金(Mervyn King)1月警告通胀率很快就会攀升至4-5%。甚至在通胀率一直位于历史最低点的美国去年年底也上涨到1.5%。
Much of the surge in inflation reflects dearer commodities. As well as oil and food, metals prices have been soaring: the price of copper hit a series of record highs this week. More expensive raw materials will work their way through the supply chain over the coming months, pushing up on inflation. Another part of the story in Europe is the effort to plug fiscal gaps by increasing VAT, a consumption tax. A hike in VAT at the start of the year will have driven prices higher in Britain in January.
通胀的急剧上升反映出商品的日益昂贵。金属、油和食品价格一直飞涨:本周铜价创一系列历史最高。在未来几月,更多的昂贵的原材料会通过供应链推高通胀率。欧洲正增加增值税(一种消费税)以填补财政赤字。伦敦新年伊始增值税的增长将推动1月价格水平上涨。
A rise in commodity prices or taxes has only a temporary effect on inflation, however, with the price rise dropping out of annual comparisons after a year. The stuff of nightmares for central bankers is that this leads to a more pernicious type of inflation. Price rises change expectations of inflation, leading workers to bid for wage increases that preserve their buying power and firms to push through price increases, generating a vicious spiral.
然而,商品价格或税收的增长只能暂时影响通胀,因为一年后价格上涨将不具可比性。让央行行长们夜不能寐的是这将导致一种更恶性的通胀。价格上涨改变通胀预期,致使工人为维持购买力而要求涨工资,企业推动价格上涨,从而产生一个恶性工资——价格螺旋。
These “second-round effects” are worth losing sleep over, but only when there is already inflationary pressure in the wider economy, from a tight labour market and firms running factories at full pelt. Such overheating seems some way off for advanced economies. The unemployment rate is in double digits in the euro area, above 9% in America and 7.9% in Britain. Wage growth has been weak, running below 1% in the euro zone and at around 2% in America and Britain.
只有劳动力市场紧缩,企业利用全部产能,致使在更大范围的经济已经存在通胀压力时,这些“第二轮效应”才值得人们为之辗转反侧。这种过热似乎对发达国家来说遥不可及。欧元区失业率达两位数,在美国超过9%,在英国超过7.9%。工资涨幅不大,欧元区不到1%,而美国和英国在2%左右。
Inflation expectations have edged up a little in recent months. But even if workers expected inflation to let rip, they would be in a bind. Karen Ward of HSBC reckons anxious employees won't ask for more pay for fear that they will end up getting the sack instead.
通胀预期在最近几个月已经略微加强。但是即使工人预期通胀会失控,他们仍无能为力。汇丰银行的Karen Ward估计,焦急的员工因为害怕被解雇而不会要求加薪。
Rich-world economies are also running well below capacity. According to the OECD, in 2010 the G7 economies were anywhere between 2.4% (Japan) and 4.7% (Italy) below potential output. Such estimates are notoriously imprecise. But if the recovery had already eliminated excess capacity they would be in the wrong city, not just the wrong ballpark.
发达国家经济经济资源远未达到充分利用。根据经济合作发展组织(OECD),2010年七国集团经济实际产出低于潜在产出,差额为2.4%(日本)至4.7%(意大利)之间。那类估计十分不准确。但是如果复苏已经消除过剩产能,则错误之处就不仅是细枝末节而是大前提就错了。
The story is very different in emerging economies. Many of these got back to their pre-crisis levels of output in 2009. With capacity constraints starting to bite, underlying inflation is on the up. Households' inflation expectations are also rising. In China they are at their highest for over a decade and there are signs of growing wage pressure. Higher wages are not, by themselves, a bad thing, especially in a country like China where pay has for years failed to keep pace with rapid productivity growth. The danger comes when loose monetary conditions and an overheating economy mean prices and wages chase each other upward.
新兴市场的情况大为不同。很多新型经济体于2009年恢复到危机前的产出水平。产能水平开始起限制作用,通胀开始上升。居民的通胀预期也在增长。中国通胀已达十多年来最高水平出现工资上涨压力的迹象。更高工资本身并不是件坏事,尤其是在中国这样一个多年工资增长赶不上生产力增长的国家。但宽松的货币状况和过热的经济意味着价格和工资彼此追赶螺旋上升时,危险就来了。
To prevent that, central bankers have been fighting back with higher interest rates and higher reserve requirements. The Brazilian and Indian central banks raised rates last month; in total, they have now hiked their policy rates by 2.5 and 1.75 percentage points respectively. China's central bank recently raised reserve requirements for the seventh time in a year.
为了控制工资——价格螺旋上升,央行的银行家们一直通过加息和上调准备金率予以回击。上月巴西和印度央行上调利率;现在他们已经分别上调2.5个百分点和1.75个百分点。中国央行最近进行了年内第七次上调准备金率。
For all that, monetary conditions remain extraordinarily loose. According to JPMorgan Chase, real policy rates in emerging economies—the official interest rate minus core consumer-price inflation—are at their lowest level since 2000. Core consumer-price inflation (which excludes food and energy prices) remains below its 2008 levels. But vigilance is needed. A continuation of booming growth and cheap money will cause trouble in the end.
尽管有上述一切措施,货币状况依然十分宽松,摩根大通表示,新兴市场的实际利率(名义利率减核心消费价格通胀率)达到2000年以来的最低点。核心消费价格通胀率(不包括食品和能源价格)保持在2008年水平以下。但是警惕是需要的。最终,持续的经济过热和货币贬值将造成麻烦。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
inflation [in'fleiʃən]

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n. 膨胀,通货膨胀

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monetary ['mʌnə.teri]

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adj. 货币的,金融的

 
preserve [pri'zə:v]

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v. 保存,保留,维护
n. 蜜饯,禁猎区

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surge [sə:dʒ]

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n. 汹涌,澎湃
v. 汹涌,涌起,暴涨

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prevent [pri'vent]

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v. 预防,防止

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reserve [ri'zə:v]

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n. 预备品,贮存,候补
n. 克制,含蓄

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continuation [kən.tinju'eiʃən]

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n. 继续,延续,续集

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pernicious [pə'niʃəs]

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adj. 有害的,恶性的 邪恶的

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productivity [.prɔdʌk'tiviti]

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n. 生产率,生产能力

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agenda [ə'dʒendə]

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n. 议事日程

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