A Comissão Europeia publicou as suas previsões de Outono. Para além da revisão em alta do crescimento económico para 2013, chama-se a atenção para uma caixa (página 41) na qual os economistas da Comissão disputam a ideia de que os multiplicadores foram subestimados. É inevitável não ver aqui uma resposta ao FMI, que colocou o assunto em cima da agenda no último World Economic Outlook, com uma caixa assinada pelo economsta-chefe Olivier Blanchard.
The evidence in this box shows that the link between past forecast errors and planned fiscalconsolidations is not robust and should not be taken as indirect proof for a larger consolidation multiplier. While it is generally accepted that fiscal multipliers for permanent consolidations are higher now than they would be in ‘normal’ circumstances, due to higher credit constraints and interest rates constrained at the zero-interest-rate floor, separating the effects on economic activity of fiscal consolidations from other factors related to the sovereign-debt crisis is important. Taking into account the temporary nature of the stimulus in countries like Germany and excluding the special case of Greece, the evidence is consistent with an average multiplier smaller than one.
When discussing the negative short-term output costs of consolidation it is important not to lose sight of what the counterfactual would be. For the most vulnerable countries, exposure to financial market pressures means there is no alternative than to pursue consolidation measures. The alternative of rising risk premia and higher borrowing costs would be worse for these countries, and consolidations are needed to restore fiscal positions and put debt projections back on a sustainable path.