西班牙经济 最糟的情况即将结束

作者:未知 来源:译生译世 2015-11-26

Spain's economy

The worst may be over

Mariano Rajoy predicts economic joy, but Spain still has a long way to go

THE Prado museum, lined with works by Goya, Velázquez and El Greco, is a sanctuary of peace in busy centralMadrid. When the museum advertised for eleven gallery attendants recently, it also seemed the perfect refuge fromSpain's job-starved economy: 18,700 people applied.

AsSpaintimidly emerges from a double-dip recession that has ripped 7% out of GDP over five years, job-seekers remain desperate. Unemployment is stuck at 26% and emigration is picking up. So will the recovery create jobs and sendSpaininto a virtuous cycle of increased domestic consumption, a higher tax take, healthy public finances and more jobs?

Presenting next year's budget on September 30th, Cristobal Montoro, the budget minister, did not offer rapid relief. Projected growth of 0.7% next year falls short of the government's own estimates for job creation. And with a planned deficit of 5.8% of GDP adding to an already worrying debt pile, stimulus spending is impossible.
9月30日在报告第二年财政预算时,预算部长克里斯托 瓦尔蒙托罗并没有送出让人迅速解脱的消息。预期的0.7%的增长将会低于政府自身对明年增加就业机会的估计。而且随着一个有计划的占GDP5.8%的财政赤字增添到一堆已经很让人担忧的债务上,刺激消费已经是不可能的了。

Civil-service pay is being frozen for a fourth year in a row and pensions will not keep up with inflation, yet the public debt will still reach almost 100% of GDP. Spanish companies and households are busy trying to pay off their own debts. After taking a 41 billion ($55.6 billion) bail-out last year,Spain's banks find it safer to lend to the government than to business.

Even so,Spain's story is now one of hope. Mariano Rajoy, the prime minister, says the third quarter will show a return to growth. Deep in the real economy, exciting things are happening. Car plants are humming, taking work from less competitive factories inEurope. Retail sales figures are improving elsewhere. Even consumer credit has crept up in recent months. Recession inflicted a brutal cull on businesses, but those still standing are more efficient and productive than ever. Exports, spurred bySpain's new competitiveness, should grow more than 5% both this year and next, doubling their pre-recession weight in the economy. With exports booming, the current account has swung into surplus.

Recovery in the European Union,Spain's main export market, will help further. The stockmarket is soaring, with the Ibex-35 indicator gaining 11% in September. After a bruising 21 months in office, Mr Rajoy predicts economic happiness next year. His Popular Party (PP) has even seen a bounce in opinion polls.

But Javier Díaz-Giménez, of the IESE business school, warns that the recovery is anaemic, fragile and unlikely to create jobs. Average GDP growth of 1%, he points out, would not seeSpainreturn to pre-recession levels until 2021. The IMF sees 25% unemployment through to 2018.

The danger, warns Angel Laborda of the Funcas think-tank, is relaxation. Already he worries that this year's 6.5% deficit target will be missed. Overall fiscal pressure is relatively low for a country that wants a sophisticated welfare system. Structural reforms are still needed, he says, butSpainenters a two-year period of elections in 2014, sapping political courage. Overconfidence threatens to slow the fall in house prices, making it even harder to sell the 700,000 new homes left by the housing bubble that pitchedSpaininto recession. Fitch, a ratings agency, warns that at current rates of selling it will take six years to clear the overhang. Prices have fallen 30% or more from the peak, but Jesús Encinar of idealista.com, a property portal, sees a further 20% drop.
智库储蓄银行联合会的安格列 拉博发出警告说政府的松懈是危险的。他已经开始担心今年6.5%的财政赤字会被人们所忽视。总的来说一个国家的财政压力与它复杂的福利体系相比相对较低。他表示体制改革仍然是有必要的,但是西班牙在2014年即将进入一个为期2年的选举阶段,这有可能会削弱政府的勇气。过分的自负预示着房价下调将会变慢,这让由房地产泡沫遗留下来的70万余套房屋更难售出,这也是导致西班牙经济衰退的主要原因。来自评价机构的菲奇警告说以当前的水平要将房屋的过剩量全部售出将需要6年。房价比顶峰时期已经下降了30%,但是来自idealista网站的房地产专家Jesús Encinar认为将来还会有20%的降价。

The next test for Mr Rajoy is pensions. A diet rich in olive oil, wine and fresh vegetables helps make Spaniards among the longest-living people inEurope. The baby-boomers will retire over the coming decade. By 2050, the number of pensioners will have leapt from just over 9m to 15m; and the social-security system already loses the equivalent of 1.4% of GDP. The previous government hiked the retirement age to 67, but that is not enough. “To claim that the current system is sustainable is like saying smoking does not cause cancer,” says Mr Díaz-Giménez. The government has made bold proposals to calculate pensions according to life expectancy and the size of the state pension pot. But Mr Rajoy is under pressure to backtrack. Even the employers' federation has warned of pensioners' lost spending power.

Labour reforms have helped to boost productivity, allowing employers and unions to opt for wage moderation rather than sackings. More may be needed if jobs are to be created. Lowering, or scrapping, the minimum wage might help. Taxes could also be cut, but only if public spending is cut. Luis de Guindos, the finance minister, says jobs will come when growth reaches 1%. Until then, the Prado museum remains a safe harbour.
劳务改革确实对提高生产效率有帮助,允许雇主们和公会去自行调整工资水平而不是一刀切。但如果有可能还是需要更多地工作机会。降低或者废除最低工资标准可能会有效果。税收也应该降低,但仅仅在公共花销也降低的情况下。财政部长Luis de Guindos 表示当经济增长达到1%时将会有更多地工作。在那之前,普拉多博物馆依然是一个安全的港湾。译者:曾擎禹 校对:周雨晴