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Why are global stock markets falling?

为什么全球股市下跌?--- 英国卫报观点

The stock markets board in Tokyo show falls across the world.

Fears of interest rate rises in the US aimed at taming inflation are making markets nervous

担心美国通过加息抑制通货膨胀,股市人心惶惶。

The FTSE 100 has posted its worst one-day performance since last April, as the London index picked up from a Wall Street sell-off at the e nd of last week. Indices also fell in Europe and Asia. Here we look at some of the issues raised by the sell-off.

受到上周末华尔街股票抛售的影响,英国富时100指数公布了自去年四月以来最差的单日表现。欧洲和亚洲的指数也有所下降。下面我们来看看这次抛售带来的一些问题:

注释:FTSE 100指数(富时100指数、伦敦金融时报100指数),由世界级的指数计算金融机构FTSE编制,涵盖伦敦证券交易所交易的100种股票,以英国企业为主。FTSE 100指数和法国的CAC-40指数、德国的法兰克福指数并称为欧洲三大股票指数,是当前全球投资人观察欧股动向的重要指标。

Why are stock markets falling?

为什么股市会下跌?

For several weeks, economists and analysts have warned that inflation levels in major economies could increase this year beyond the 2% to 3% that central banks believe is good for developed countries. Official US figures turned those concerns into a sell-off last Friday, after they showed average wage rises in the US had reached 2.9%. The data increased fears that shop prices would soon rise further, increasing the pressure for high interest rates to calm the economy down. Investors then bolted at the prospect of an era of cheap money – which encourages consumers and companies to spend – coming to an end. Over the past month, several members of the US central bank, the Federal Reserve, have argued that three 0.25% interest rate rises scheduled for this year could become four or five.

几个星期以来,经济学家和分析师们警告说,今年各大经济体的通胀水平可能会超过各国央行认为适合发达国家标准的2%到3%。上星期五,美国官方公布的数据显示,美国的平均工资涨幅达到了2.9%,这一数据转变成人们的担忧,进而导致了上周五的股票抛售。同时这一数据也让人们更加担心物价不久后将进一步上涨,而为了使经济稳定下来,又增加了高利率的压力。然后,投资者们将震惊于一个鼓励消费者和公司花钱的廉价货币时代已经结束。在过去的一个月中,美国中央银行(美联储)的几位成员都认为,今年预计三次各0.25%的加息计划可能会增加到四次或五次。

Is there worse to come?

还有更糟糕的事在后面吗?

There is every prospect that the US economic data will continue to strengthen, increasing the potential for higher interest rates. President Donald Trump’s tax reform bill, which gained approval in Congress before Christmas, will inject more than $1tn (£710bn) into the US economy, much of it in the form of corporation tax cuts. Many firms have pledged to give a slice of the cash to their workers. Decades of flat wages should mean that increases expected in 2018 and possibly 2019 are too small to trigger a reaction from the central bank, but investors are betting rates will rise. As a consequence, stock market jitters could continue.

美国经济数据有可能继续增强,这增加了更高利率的可能性。总统唐纳德•特朗普的税收改革法案已在圣诞节前获得国会批准,该法案将为美国经济注入超过1万亿美元(7100亿英镑),其中多数资金是以企业减税的形式注入。许多公司承诺将分一部分现金给员工。美国几十年的固定工资意味着2018年的预计工资涨幅和2019年的可能涨幅不够明显,以至于不能触发央行的回应,但投资者确信利率会上升。因此,股市的恐慌可能会持续下去。

Is it a threat to the global economy?

这是对全球经济的威胁吗?

Many developing world economies have borrowed heavily in dollars and will be stung by the higher cost of servicing their debts. On the other hand, a booming US economy will suck in imports from those nations, boosting the incomes of the developing world. However, the eurozone looks unlikely to increase interest rates until its recovery is more firmly anchored. That means the euro will continue to rise in value against the dollar, making it harder for European countries to export to the US.

许多发展中国家借入了大量美元,他们将因偿还债务的成本变高而受到打击。另一方面,美国经济蓬勃发展的话,将引进来自发展中国家的进口商品,从而促进这些国家的收入。然而,欧元区国家似乎不可能在其经济复苏更加稳固之前加息。这意味着欧元兑美元汇率将继续升高,这将使得欧洲国家向美国出口更加困难。

What does it mean for the UK economy?

这对英国经济意味着什么?

A falling stock market should not affect the economy immediately. Its main effect should be to limit the availability of shareholder funds for investment, affecting the long-term health of the economy. But there is a strong feedback loop from falling wealth, such as share portfolios, into lower consumer spending. Shoppers measure their financial well-being in terms of their asset-based wealth as much as their income. As a result, a big fall in share prices could damage the economy.

股市的下跌不会立即影响到经济。它的主要影响应该是限制股票持有者可用于投资的资金,从而影响经济的长期健康发展。但是这其中有一个强大的反馈机制,从财富的下降(如:股票投资组合)到消费支出的下降。消费者不仅通过收入,还通过资产来衡量他们的财务状况。因此,股价的大幅下跌可能会损害到经济。