Slika dneva: Nadstandardno zategovanje pasu v PIIGS

Spodnja slika nazorno pove, da so države PIIGS v pokriznem obdobju globoko zategnile pas – z zmanjšanjem javnih izdatkov ali povečanjem davkov so izboljšale (ciklično popravljen) primarni saldo proračuna za 8% (Španija, Irska) do 17% BDP (Grčija). V zgodovinski primerjavi od leta 1945 do danes je bilo to zategovanje nadstandardno – precej večje kot običajno (5% BDP v polovici primerov).

Vir: The Economist

Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain—the PIIGS, as investment bankers’ shorthand has it—were in the direst fiscal straits in the crisis and, naturally, have been the most austere since. Italy has reduced its underlying primary deficit by 4.7% of GDP; the others, by more than 8% of GDP. These figures are huge: 8% of GDP is equivalent to average government spending on pensions in the OECD. No one should accuse the Greek government, in particular, of not cutting back enough: the figures reveal tightening of a whopping 17.2% of underlying GDP between 2009 and 2015. At the other end of the scale, Germany has barely had to cut back at all, and in fact the OECD expects it to loosen its purse-strings slightly this year. No wonder the PIIGS have squealed.

From any perspective, however, the recent bout of belt-tightening looks severe. A paper published last year by Julio Escolano, Laura Jaramillo, Carlos Mulas-Granados and Gilbert Terrier of the IMF puts the cuts in historical context. The authors compiled a database of 48 austerity drives in rich countries between 1945 and 2012, all aimed at steadying public debt as a share of GDP. They find that around half of these consolidations amounted to 5% or more of GDP, and a quarter to 7.5% or more. Italy’s recent experience is about average, therefore, and Britain’s (so far) below par. But Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain have been far more austere than the norm.

Vir: The Economist


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