一、经济学人文章原文

Snapback 
2020.10
Why the worlds largest economy is beating forecasts

 

经济学人双语


WHEN AMERICANS vote in November, unemployment will be below 6%, declared Lars Christensen, a maverick economist, in May. Given that lockdowns had sent the unemployment rate soaring to 14.7% only the month before, it was a bold prediction. In June at least 14 of the Federal Reserves 17 interest-rate-setters forecast that quarterly unemployment at the end of the year would still be above 9%. Most other prognosticators were equally gloomy. They expected American GDP to collapse in 2020 and recover relatively slowly. Mr Christensen insisted that natural disasters, unlike financial crashes and recessions brought on by economic policy mistakes, are typically followed by rapid recoveries.
He may be proven right. Over the summer the unemployment rate fell fast, to 8.4% in August. And economists have scrambled to upgrade their growth forecasts (see chart). On September 16th the OECD, a rich-country think-tank, predicted that the American economy would shrink by 3.8% this year, rather than the 7.3% expected in June. The outlook was upgraded across the rich world, but nowhere by as much. America still faces a recession about half as deep again as the one it endured after the financial crisis. But expectations are not as apocalyptic as they wereand look better than they do in most of Europe.
The upgrades in America can be attributed to three factors. First, the spread of the coronavirus in the southern sunbelt states, which rode a wave of the epidemic in the summer, has slowed. Second, Americas economic stimulus, the worlds largest both in absolute terms and as a proportion of GDP, has been potent. Thanks to one-time stimulus cheques worth up to $1,200 per person and an extra $600 a week in unemployment-insurance (UI) payments, households disposable income has risen since the pandemic began. Americans did not spend the money all at once, meaning that it continues to support consumption today, even though most of the emergency support has expired. In early September UI recipients were still spending more than they did before the pandemic hit.
The final reason behind the forecast revisions is probably Americas flexible labour market. The fall in unemployment in recent months seems to reflect more new jobs, rather than discouraged workers exiting the workforce. In Europe governments have tended to assume much of the payroll cost for furloughed workers. Such schemes are handy in a tight spot. But if prolonged, they could keep workers in jobs that are never coming back. America, by contrast, has mainly protected peoples incomes with unemployment benefits (although it has absorbed the payroll costs of many small businesses via loans that may eventually be forgiven). As a result the reallocation of labour from dying industries to up-and-coming ones is happening at speed. For example, the number of travel agents has fallen by 10% since April, even as overall employment has risen. Employment in general-merchandise shops is 6% higher than before the pandemic.
Much could still go wrong. The virus could surge again, as it has in Europe. Many forecasters continue to assume, optimistically, that Congress will pass another stimulus package this year. Americans cannot run down their savings forever. And social-distancing requirements remain in place in much of the country. As a result some labour-market indicators still look dire. In August, even as the overall unemployment rate fell, roughly 3.4m jobs were permanently culled, more than in October 2008, soon after Lehman Brothers collapsed. The rapid rebound this time could yet hit a hard ceiling. But Mr Christensens optimism no longer looks so exceptional. 

 

二、经济学人文章译文

 迅速回升
为什么全球最大经济体的表现超出预期
“等到11月美国人为大选投票时,失业率将低于6%。”特立独行的经济学家拉斯•克里斯滕森5月时这样说道。考虑到封锁措施在4月已经令失业率飙升至14.7%,这是一个大胆的预测。6月,美联储17位利率决策者中至少有14位预测今年第四季度失业率仍将高于9%。其他预言者大多也同样悲观。他们预计美国在2020年会暴跌,而后相对缓慢地复苏。克里斯滕森则坚持认为,与经济政策失误导致的金融崩溃和经济衰退不同,自然灾害之后通常会出现快速复苏。
事实可能会证明他是对的。整个夏天失业率迅速下降,到8月已降至8.4%。经济学家纷纷上调对经济增长的预期(见图表)。9月16日,富裕国家智库经合组织预测美国经济今年将萎缩3.8%,而非6月预测的7.3%。所有富裕国家的经济前景都提升了,但没有哪个国家幅度这么大。美国仍面临着一场衰退,程度大概是金融危机后那次衰退的1.5倍。但人们的预期不像以前那样悲惨了,而且看起来比欧洲大多数国家的预期要好。 
美国经济前景提升可能有三方面因素。首先,美国南部“阳光地带各州”在夏季经历了一波疫情后,现在新冠病毒的传播速度已经减缓。其次,美国的经济刺激很有效力,无论从绝对数量还是占比来看规模都是全球最大的。因为有高达每人1200美元的一次性刺激支票和除此以外每周600美元的失业保险金,家庭可支配收入自疫情开始以来已经上升。美国人并没有一下子把钱花光,这意味着即使大部分紧急援助项目已经结束,这些钱也还能继续支撑消费。9月初,失业保险领取者的支出仍比疫情爆发前要高。
修正预测背后的最后一个原因可能是美国灵活的劳动力市场。近几个月失业率的下降似乎是因为有更多新岗位出现,而不是沮丧的劳动者退出了劳动市场。在欧洲,政府基本上承担了临时停职员工的大部分工资成本。这样的计划在危急时刻中能起效。但如果延长下去,可能会把员工困在那些再也不会恢复的工作岗位上。相比之下,美国主要是用失业救济金来保护人们的收入(不过它也通过可能最终会被免除的贷款承担了许多小企业的工资成本)。结果是劳动力迅速从濒死行业重新分配到新兴行业。例如,自4月以来,在整体就业人数上升的同时,旅行社的数量减少了10%。日用杂货店雇用的人数比疫情前多6%。
仍有很多地方可能出问题。病毒可能会再次肆虐,就像在欧洲那样。许多预测者仍然乐观地估计国会今年还会再通过一项经济刺激计划。美国人不可能总也花不完他们的积蓄。美国大部分地区仍然要求保持社交距离。因此,一些劳动力市场指标看起来仍然很糟糕。总体失业率下降之时,8月仍有约340万个工作岗位被永久性裁掉,比2008年10月雷曼兄弟刚破产后还要多。这次的快速反弹仍可能遇到阻力,但克里斯滕森的乐观态度看起来不再那么与众不同了。

 

三、经济学人文章中英对照翻译

Snapback 迅速回升
Why the world’s largest economy is beating forecasts
为什么全球最大经济体的表现超出预期
“WHEN AMERICANS vote in November, unemployment will be below 6%,” declared Lars Christensen, a maverick economist, in May. Given that lockdowns had sent the unemployment rate soaring to 14.7% only the month before, it was a bold prediction. In June at least 14 of the Federal Reserve’s 17 interest-rate-setters forecast that quarterly unemployment at the end of the year would still be above 9%. Most other prognosticators were equally gloomy. They expected American GDP to collapse in 2020 and recover relatively slowly. Mr Christensen insisted that natural disasters, unlike financial crashes and recessions brought on by economic policy mistakes, are typically followed by rapid recoveries.
“等到11月美国人为大选投票时,失业率将低于6%。”特立独行的经济学家拉斯•克里斯滕森(Lars Christensen)5月时这样说道。考虑到封锁措施在4月已经令失业率飙升至14.7%,这是一个大胆的预测。6月,美联储17位利率决策者中至少有14位预测今年第四季度失业率仍将高于9%。其他预言者大多也同样悲观。他们预计美国GDP在2020年会暴跌,而后相对缓慢地复苏。克里斯滕森则坚持认为,与经济政策失误导致的金融崩溃和经济衰退不同,自然灾害之后通常会出现快速复苏。
He may be proven right. Over the summer the unemployment rate fell fast, to 8.4% in August. And economists have scrambled to upgrade their growth forecasts (see chart). On September 16th the OECD, a rich-country think-tank, predicted that the American economy would shrink by 3.8% this year, rather than the 7.3% expected in June. The outlook was upgraded across the rich world, but nowhere by as much. America still faces a recession about half as deep again as the one it endured after the financial crisis. But expectations are not as apocalyptic as they were—and look better than they do in most of Europe.
事实可能会证明他是对的。整个夏天失业率迅速下降,到8月已降至8.4%。经济学家纷纷上调对经济增长的预期(见图表)。9月16日,富裕国家智库经合组织预测美国经济今年将萎缩3.8%,而非6月预测的7.3%。所有富裕国家的经济前景都提升了,但没有哪个国家幅度这么大。美国仍面临着一场衰退,程度大概是金融危机后那次衰退的1.5倍。但人们的预期不像以前那样悲惨了,而且看起来比欧洲大多数国家的预期要好。 
The upgrades in America can be attributed to three factors. First, the spread of the coronavirus in the southern “sunbelt states”, which rode a wave of the epidemic in the summer, has slowed. Second, America’s economic stimulus, the world’s largest both in absolute terms and as a proportion of GDP, has been potent. Thanks to one-time stimulus cheques worth up to $1,200 per person and an extra $600 a week in unemployment-insurance (UI) payments, households’ disposable income has risen since the pandemic began. Americans did not spend the money all at once, meaning that it continues to support consumption today, even though most of the emergency support has expired. In early September UI recipients were still spending more than they did before the pandemic hit.
美国经济前景提升可能有三方面因素。首先,美国南部“阳光地带各州”在夏季经历了一波疫情后,现在新冠病毒的传播速度已经减缓。其次,美国的经济刺激很有效力,无论从绝对数量还是GDP占比来看规模都是全球最大的。因为有高达每人1200美元的一次性刺激支票和除此以外每周600美元的失业保险金,家庭可支配收入自疫情开始以来已经上升。美国人并没有一下子把钱花光,这意味着即使大部分紧急援助项目已经结束,这些钱也还能继续支撑消费。9月初,失业保险领取者的支出仍比疫情爆发前要高。
The final reason behind the forecast revisions is probably America’s flexible labour market. The fall in unemployment in recent months seems to reflect more new jobs, rather than discouraged workers exiting the workforce. In Europe governments have tended to assume much of the payroll cost for furloughed workers. Such schemes are handy in a tight spot. But if prolonged, they could keep workers in jobs that are never coming back. America, by contrast, has mainly protected people’s incomes with unemployment benefits (although it has absorbed the payroll costs of many small businesses via loans that may eventually be forgiven). As a result the reallocation of labour from dying industries to up-and-coming ones is happening at speed. For example, the number of travel agents has fallen by 10% since April, even as overall employment has risen. Employment in general-merchandise shops is 6% higher than before the pandemic.
修正预测背后的最后一个原因可能是美国灵活的劳动力市场。近几个月失业率的下降似乎是因为有更多新岗位出现,而不是沮丧的劳动者退出了劳动市场。在欧洲,政府基本上承担了临时停职员工的大部分工资成本。这样的计划在危急时刻中能起效。但如果延长下去,可能会把员工困在那些再也不会恢复的工作岗位上。相比之下,美国主要是用失业救济金来保护人们的收入(不过它也通过可能最终会被免除的贷款承担了许多小企业的工资成本)。结果是劳动力迅速从濒死行业重新分配到新兴行业。例如,自4月以来,在整体就业人数上升的同时,旅行社的数量减少了10%。日用杂货店雇用的人数比疫情前多6%。
Much could still go wrong. The virus could surge again, as it has in Europe. Many forecasters continue to assume, optimistically, that Congress will pass another stimulus package this year. Americans cannot run down their savings forever. And social-distancing requirements remain in place in much of the country. As a result some labour-market indicators still look dire. In August, even as the overall unemployment rate fell, roughly 3.4m jobs were permanently culled, more than in October 2008, soon after Lehman Brothers collapsed. The rapid rebound this time could yet hit a hard ceiling. But Mr Christensen’s optimism no longer looks so exceptional.
仍有很多地方可能出问题。病毒可能会再次肆虐,就像在欧洲那样。许多预测者仍然乐观地估计国会今年还会再通过一项经济刺激计划。美国人不可能总也花不完他们的积蓄。美国大部分地区仍然要求保持社交距离。因此,一些劳动力市场指标看起来仍然很糟糕。总体失业率下降之时,8月仍有约340万个工作岗位被永久性裁掉,比2008年10月雷曼兄弟刚破产后还要多。这次的快速反弹仍可能遇到阻力,但克里斯滕森的乐观态度看起来不再那么与众不同了。

 

四、经济学人文章生词

 

 

snapback

'snæpˌbæk

n.(橄榄球)(中锋)突然将球踢回,中锋.;

lar

lɑr

n.(古罗马)家神,家庭守护神.;

maverick

ˈmævərɪk, ˈmævrɪk

n.未烙印的小动物.标新立异的人,持不同意见的人.;v.迷路,迷失.用不正当手段获取.;adj.标新立异的.;

economist

ɪˈkɑ:nəmɪst

n.经济学者,经济家,[古]节俭的人,节约者

lockdown

ˈlɑ:kdaʊn

n.<美>(对囚犯的)一级防范禁闭,一级防范禁闭期.;

soaring

 

adj.高飞的,翱翔的.高耸的.;v.高飞( soar的现在分词 ).猛增.(音乐)升高.高耸.;

prognosticator

prɒg'nɒstɪkeɪtə

n.预言者,占卜者.;

gloomy

ˈɡlumi

adj.黑暗的.令人沮丧的.前景黯淡的.悲观的,阴郁的.;

mr

ˈmɪstər

abbr. 先生(Mister);

proven

ˈpru:vn

adj.经过验证或证实的.;v.证明( prove的过去分词 ).检验,试验.;

upgrade

ˈʌpˌɡred

n.向上的斜坡.;vt.提升.使(机器、计算机系统等)升级.提高(设施、服务等的)档次.提高(飞机乘客、旅馆住客等)的待遇.;

oecd

ˌoʊ

abbr.经合.经济合作与发展组织.;

shrink

ʃrɪŋk

vt.& vi.收缩,皱缩.(使)缩水.退缩,畏缩.;n.收缩.畏缩.<俚>精神病学家.;

outlook

ˈaʊtˌlʊk

n.景色,风光,观点,见解,展望,前景

apocalyptic

əˌpɑ:kəˈlɪptɪk

adj.天启的.启示录的.决定性的.预示大灾变的.;

coronavirus

kɒrənə'vaɪrəs

n.日冕形病毒,冠状病毒.冠形病毒.;

rode

roʊd

v.乘,骑,驾( ride的过去式 ).(骑马、自行车等)穿越.搭乘.飘浮.;

epidemic

ˌɛpɪˈdɛmɪk

n.流行病.迅速的传播、生长或发展.风尚等的流行.;adj.流行性的.极为盛行的.;

stimulus

ˈstɪmjələs

n.刺激物.刺激因素.激法物.;

potent

ˈpoʊtnt

adj.有效的,强有力的.有权势的.烈性的.有说服力的.;

ui

 

User Interface,用户界面

disposable

dɪˈspoʊzəbl

adj.一次性的,可任意处理的.用后就抛弃的.免洗的.可供使用的.;n.〈美口〉使用后随即抛掉的东西(尤指容器等).;

risen

'rɪzn

adj.升起的.;v.起义( rise的过去分词 ).升起.(数量)增加.休会.;

pandemic

pænˈdɛmɪk

adj.(疾病)大流行的.普遍的,全世界的.;n.(全国或全球性)流行病,大流行病.;

recipients

rɪˈsɪpɪənt

adj.接受的.受领的.容纳的.愿意接受的.;n.收件人.接受者.受领者.接受器.;

payroll

ˈpeɪroʊl

n.工资名单.工资总支出,工薪总额.;

furlough

ˈfɜ:rloʊ

n.休假,暂时解雇,放假vt.准假,暂时解雇

forgiven

fərˈgɪv

v.原谅( forgive的过去分词 ).饶恕.对不起.请原谅.;

surge

sɜ:rdʒ

n.巨涌,汹涌,澎湃vi.汹涌,澎湃,振荡,滑脱,放松vt.使汹涌奔腾,急放

optimistically

ɑptəˈmɪstɪklɪ

adv.乐观地,乐天地.;

cannot

ˈkænɑ:t

=can not.未可.不能.不可.;

indicator

ˈɪndɪˌketɚ

n.指示器.[化]指示剂.指示者.;

dire

daɪr

adj.可怕的,恐怖的.悲惨的.迫切的,极端的.;

cull

kʌl

vt.挑选,剔除.采,摘(花).精选.;n.拣出的东西.剔除.;

rebound

ˈriˈbaʊnd, rɪ-

vi.弹回.从诸如衰败或失望中恢复过来.回荡,回响.抢得篮板球.;vt.使弹回.使回升.使回响.;n.弹回,跳回.反弹球.篮板球.振作,反应.;