Steering the Economy to a Soft Landing
很多用来描述货币政策的词，例如“经济软着陆”“让经济刹车”,使它听起来像 是一门精确的科学。事实远非如此。利率和通货膨胀之间的联系是不确定的。在政 策调整对经济产生影响前，会有那么一段为时不短但变幻不定的后滞期。
Much of the language used to describe the monetary policy，such as “ steering the economy to a soft landing” or “a touch on the brakes”，makes it sound like a precise science. Nothing could be further from the truth. The link between interest rates and inflation is uncertain. And there are long, variable lags before policy changes have any effect on the economy.
西方七大工业国去年的平均通货膨胀率降到了 2.3%，接近30年来最低的水平， 今年7月才略微升高到2.5%。这比很多国家在70年代和80年代早期经历的两位数 的膨胀率要低多了。这也比大多数预言家预测的都要低。1994年底，在《经济学家》 每月举行民意测验的专家组预测，美国在1995年平均通货膨胀率将是3.5%,可实际上，8月份就降到了 2.6%，而且整个一年的平均通货膨胀率有望维持在3%左右。
Average inflation in the seven big industrial economies fell to a mere 2. 3% last year, close to its lowest level in 30 years, before rising slightly to 2.5% this July. This is a long way below the double digit rates which many countries experienced in the 1970s and early 1980s. It is also less than most forecasters had predicted. In late 1994, the panel of economists which the Economist polls each month said that America's inflation rate would average 3.5% in 1995. In fact, it fell to 2. 6% in August, and is expected to average only about 3% for the year as a whole.
In Britain and Japan, inflation is running half a percentage point below the rate predicted at the end of last year. This is no flash in the pan ； over the past couple of years； inflation has been consistently lower than expected in Britain and America. Economists have been particularly surprised by favorable inflation figures in Britain and the United States, since conventional measures suggest that both economies, and especially America’s have little productive slack.
Why has inflation proved so mild? The most thrilling explanation is，unfortunately, a little defective. Some economists argue that powerful structural changes in the world have upended the old economic models that were based upon the historical link between growth and inflation.