Adéu a Nihil Obstat | Hola a The Catalan Analyst

Després de 13 anys d'escriure en aquest bloc pràcticament sense interrumpció, avui el dono per clausurat. Això no vol dir que m'hagi jubilat de la xarxa, sinó que he passat el relleu a un altra bloc que segueix la mateixa línia del Nihil Obstat. Es tracta del bloc The Catalan Analyst i del compte de Twitter del mateix nom: @CatalanAnalyst Us recomano que els seguiu.

Moltes gràcies a tots per haver-me seguit amb tanta fidelitat durant tots aquests anys.

dimecres, 31 de gener de 2007

“The Economist” alerta d’un crack a l’economia espanyola

La recuperació de la competivitat de l’economia alemanya es pot fer a costa d’Espanya, que es vaticina com la pròxima víctima d’un crack en la zona euro. Això ho afirma un article de la revista britànica “The Economist” que cita el professor Olivier Blanchard, membre del departament econòmic del Massachussets Institute of Technology (MIT).

For Mr Blanchard, Spain is at a potentially dangerous point in the relative-cost cycle. Wages are still rising at a rate roughly twice the euro zone's average and well ahead of productivity growth. Spain's real exchange rate is up by nearly a quarter since 2000 (see chart). But so far the economy shows few symptoms of ill health. GDP probably grew by 3.6% last year and forecasts for this year suggest only a modest slowdown.

One clear sign of something amiss is Spain's current-account deficit, which widened to 8.8% of GDP last year, estimates the OECD. Such imbalances can reflect shifts in competitiveness and warn of trouble ahead—especially, perhaps, in a currency union where the costs of wage adjustment are high. Within America, by contrast, cost imbalances are resolved less painfully, because workers are willing to move from depressed states to where jobs are more plentiful.

Portugal's ballooning trade deficit in the late 1990s was a symptom of declining competitiveness and the economy has yet to recover from the subsequent bust. Spain now has the second-largest current-account deficit in the world in dollar terms and looks dangerously overheated. Germany's resurgence has set a challenge for the euro zone's southern members. Without the option of devaluation, their medium-term outlook looks less than rosy.