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          歐洲經濟努力應對能源沖擊

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          Finance & economics

          財經板塊

          The euro area: Danger zone

          歐元區:危險區

          Europe’s economy grapples with an acute energy shock.

          歐洲經濟正努力應對嚴重的能源沖擊。

          For the best part of a decade, rock-bottom interest rates seemed like a fact of life in the euro zone—as did low inflation.

          在過去十年的大部分時間里,最低利率似乎是歐元區無法改變的現實--低通脹也是如此。

          Now consumer prices are rising at an annual rate exceeding 8%, well above the European Central Bank’s target of 2%.

          目前,消費者價格的年漲幅超過8%,遠高于歐洲央行2%的目標。

          Members of the bank’s governing council have signalled their intent to raise rates soon, a message they were expected to reaffirm at a monetary-policy meeting on June 9th, as we went to press.

          歐洲央行管理委員會的成員已經發出信號,表示他們打算馬上提高利率,預計他們將在6月9日的貨幣政策會議上重申這一信息,就像我們報道的那樣。

          But the ECB finds itself in a tricky position: of contending not only with surging prices, which might warrant rapid rate rises, but also gloomier growth prospects, which might warrant patience.

          但歐洲央行發現自己陷入了一個棘手的境地:不僅要與飆升的物價抗爭,還要應對增長前景黯淡的問題,前者可能需要迅速加息,后者則可能需要耐心。

          The root cause of both developments is a severe energy-price crunch.

          引發這兩種情況的根本原因都是嚴重的能源價格緊縮。

          Prices of oil and natural gas had already been rising before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; the war sent them soaring higher still.

          在俄羅斯入侵烏克蘭之前,石油和天然氣的價格就已經在上漲;這場戰爭使它們進一步飆升。

          These price rises have played a much bigger role in pushing up consumer-price inflation in Europe than in America, where stimulus has also been a culprit.

          這些價格上漲在推高歐洲消費者價格通脹方面發揮的作用比在美國大得多,在美國,經濟刺激政策也是罪魁禍首。

          Energy prices in the euro area—which rose at a whopping annual rate of 39% in May—are contributing about four percentage points to headline inflation, compared with two in America.

          歐元區的能源價格在5月份以高達39%的年率上漲,為整體通脹率貢獻了大約4個百分點,而美國貢獻了2個百分點。

          The effects are starting to spill over to other prices.

          這些影響正開始波及到其他價格。

          “Core” inflation, which excludes food and energy prices, was higher in the euro zone in May than economists had expected.

          歐元區5月份剔除食品和能源價格變化的“核心”通脹率高于經濟學家的預期。

          German producer prices rose at a record clip of 33.5% in April, compared with last year, driven not just by energy, but also energy-intensive goods such as concrete and chemicals.

          與去年相比,德國4月份生產者價格指數上漲了33.5%,創歷史新高,其背后推動力不僅是能源,還有混凝土和化學品等能源密集型商品。

          The result is a big hit to firms’ costs and households’ purchasing power.

          這一結果是對企業成本和家庭購買力的巨大打擊。

          In how much danger does it put the euro area’s economy?

          這會給歐元區經濟帶來多大的危險呢?

          One consequence of the energy shock is lower household incomes in real terms.

          這一能源沖擊造成的一個后果是家庭實際收入下降。

          Wage growth has been picking up modestly across the zone, but still trails behind inflation.

          整個歐元區的工資增長一直在小幅回升,但仍落后于通脹。

          Some employers have made one-off payments to workers, to compensate them for surging prices without incurring higher recurring wage costs.

          一些雇主向工人一次性支付工資,從而在不增加經常性薪資成本的情況下,補償物價飆升給他們造成的損失。

          Even then, however, annual pay growth in the Netherlands, where the labour market is tight, stood at just 2.8% in May.

          然而,即便是這樣,在勞動力市場緊張的荷蘭,5月份的年薪增長率也只有2.8%。

          In one sense, this is good news for the ECB, because it reduces the risk of a wage-price spiral.

          從某種意義上說,這對歐洲央行而言是個好消息,因為這樣降低了出現工資-價格螺旋形上升的風險。

          But it may feed into lower consumption, weakening the rest of the economy in turn.

          但這可能會導致消費水平下降,進而削弱經濟的其他部分。

          A moderation in demand only adds to a heap of woes for the manufacturing sector, where confidence is already in steep decline.

          需求放緩只會讓信心已經在急劇下滑的制造業雪上加霜。

          Supply disruptions as a result of China’s recent lockdowns and high energy prices are hurting businesses, with Germany and eastern Europe looking most vulnerable to an industrial slowdown.

          中國最近的封鎖措施和高能源價格導致的供應中斷正在給企業帶來損失,德國和東歐看起來最容易受到工業放緩的影響。

          New orders for the zone’s manufacturers in May fell for the first time since June 2020, indicating weaker demand.

          今年5月,該區域制造商的新訂單出現自2020年6月以來的首次下降,表明需求疲軟。

          Export orders declined at their fastest pace in two years.

          出口訂單以兩年來最快的速度下降。

          Economists are therefore pencilling in slower growth over the rest of the year.

          因此,經濟學家們預計今年剩余時間的經濟增長將放緩。

          But few expect an outright recession just yet.

          但幾乎沒有人認為會立刻出現徹底的經濟衰退。

          That is because some parts of the economy confront the energy shock from a position of strength, rather than weakness.

          這是因為,在對抗能源沖擊時,部分經濟領域處于優勢而非劣勢地位。

          Many services firms are still reaping the rewards from the end of Omicron-related lockdowns.

          許多服務公司仍在因奧密克戎相關封鎖措施解除而獲益。

          Southern countries are benefiting the most, given their reliance on tourism; in Spain arrivals of sun-seeking northerners almost reached pre-pandemic levels in April.

          南方國家依賴旅游業,因此受益最大;4月份,為了陽光到訪西班牙的北方人數量幾乎達到了疫情前的水平。

          Overall, business sentiment in services remains strong, with many firms reporting a growing backlog of work.

          總體而言,服務業的商業信心依然強勁,許多公司報告積壓的工作越來越多。

          Jobs are still plentiful, too.

          就業機會也仍然充足。

          Across the bloc there were three vacancies for every 100 jobs in the first quarter of 2022, a high level by historical standards.

          2022年第一季度,整個歐盟每100個職位就有3個空缺,按歷史標準來看,這是一個很高的水平。

          Firms’ hiring expectations are solid, albeit slightly weaker since the start of the war in Ukraine.

          盡管自烏克蘭戰爭爆發以來,公司的招聘預期略有減弱,但仍保持穩定。

          More than one in four businesses in Europe say that a lack of staff is preventing them from producing more.

          在歐洲,超過四分之一的企業表示,員工短缺正阻礙它們生產更多產品。

          A hoard of savings built up during lockdowns should also provide consumers with some cushion against the energy shock.

          封鎖期間積攢的儲蓄也應該為消費者提供一些緩沖,以應對能源沖擊。

          According to our calculations, such “excess” savings in France and Germany amounted to a tenth of disposable incomes in the first quarter of 2022 .

          根據我們的計算,法國和德國的這種“額外”儲蓄相當于2022年第一季度可支配收入的十分之一。

          These buffers will blunt the impact to the energy shock.

          這些緩沖將減弱能源沖擊的影響。

          But they will not offset it altogether.

          但它們不會完全抵消這一影響。

          Excess savings, for a start, are not evenly distributed.

          首先,額外儲蓄的分配并不均勻。

          Poorer people in rich countries, and most households in poorer countries, have precious little left.

          富裕國家的窮人和較貧窮國家的大多數家庭所剩無幾。

          In Slovakia, for example, the savings rate never rose much during the pandemic.

          例如,在斯洛伐克,疫情期間的儲蓄率從未大幅上升。

          “Consumption weakness will come from lower-income households,” says Jens Eisenschmidt of Morgan Stanley, a bank.

          摩根士丹利銀行的延斯· 艾森施密特稱:“消費疲軟將來自低收入家庭?!?/p>

          Retail sales, in real terms, have moved sideways for months.

          幾個月來,實際零售額一直呈橫盤走勢。

          Many governments have put together spending programmes to shield households from high energy prices.

          許多政府已經擬定了支出計劃,以保護住戶免受高能源價格的影響。

          According to Bruegel, a think-tank in Brussels, Germany, France and others are spending between 1% and 2% of GDP.

          布魯蓋爾智庫的數據顯示,德國、法國和其他國家的支出占國內生產總值的1%到2%。

          Not all of that is well-targeted, however.

          然而,并不是所有支出都有很好的針對性。

          Much of it is going on relief for better-off households that do not need it; other measures have involved meddling with prices, with some of the benefit going to energy suppliers.

          其中大部分用于救濟不需要資助的富裕家庭;其他措施涉及干預價格,能源供應商從中獲利。

          Even if the euro area is spared a recession, then, the energy shock will be a drag on growth.

          即使歐元區免于經濟衰退,能源沖擊也會拖累經濟增長。

          The ECB faces an unenviable dilemma.

          歐洲央行面臨著危險的兩難境地。

          With every increase in inflation on the back of food and energy prices, the European economy is getting weaker.

          隨著食品和能源價格導致的每一次通脹上升,歐洲經濟正變得越來越疲軟。

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