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更新时间:2015-3-13 9:05:39 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Delight or Dread as Euro Falls

PARIS — For Hervé Montjotin, chief executive of the French trucking and logistics group Norbert Dentressangle, the euro’s steep plunge against the dollar could not be more welcome.

巴黎——对于法​​国货运与物流集团Norbert Dentressangle的首席执行官埃尔韦·蒙特约(Hervé Montjotin)来说,欧元兑美元汇率的大幅下挫是件天大的好事。

In the months since his company bought Jacobson, an American contract logistics company, the currency’s decline — down about 23 percent over the past year — has meant a windfall when dollars earned in the United States are translated back into euros.


“We bought a profitable business, and that business now makes 20 percent more in euros than when we got it,” he said. “We’ve either been very skilled or very lucky.”


Millions of businesspeople on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as tourists planning trips in one direction or the other, are now watching with delight or dread as Europe’s main currency drops ever closer to parity with the dollar.


On Wednesday afternoon in Paris, the euro was trading at $1.0567. The currency has declined nearly 13 percent in the first months of 2015 alone and is at its lowest level since early 2003. The euro peaked at almost $1.60 in April 2008, as the European Central Bank was warning of impending interest rate increases despite the financial crisis that was beginning to be felt in the United States.


The current plunge reflects differences in economic outlook, interest rates and monetary policies in Europe and the United States that in many ways favor the Americans — unless they are American companies trying to sell their wares to Europeans.


For the United States, which already runs a substantial trade deficit with the rest of the world, a weaker euro might only widen that gap, as German cars, Spanish wines and French luxury goods become more price-competitive. Chad Moutray, chief economist for the National Association of Manufacturers in Washington, warned that the strong dollar was “a major headwind” for American companies and said that executives were “less happy” than they were a few months ago.

美国与其他国家之间的贸易赤字已经相当巨大,欧元贬值可能只会拉大这一缺口,因为德国汽车、西班牙葡萄酒和法国奢侈消费品在价格上变得更具竞争力。华盛顿美国全国制造商协会(National Association of Manufacturers)的首席经济师查德·穆特雷(Chad Moutray)警告称,美元走强对于美国公司是“一个主要不利因素”,他还表示,和几个月前相比,美国高管们“不太舒心”。

“People recognize that the dollar is strengthening for the right reasons,” Mr. Moutray said, citing the relatively strong United States economy and the signals that the Federal Reserve may be closer to raising interest rates — a lure to foreign investors and a further spur to the dollar — even as the European Central Bank is keeping interest rates at historical lows. Still, he added, “the dollar is getting to a level where it’s harder to compete against the Europeans.”


The happier Americans would be tourists, who during the coming spring break or summer months will find that a meal in a fancy French restaurant or a Mediterranean beach holiday costs much less than it would have a year ago. Europeans visiting New York or California, of course, will find that their euros won’t stretch nearly as far this year.


The sagging euro is only part of the story. The dollar is on its biggest surge since the mid-1990s — up 19 percent over the past 12 months against a basket of global currencies that includes the Japanese yen and the British pound.


But the euro is the standout. And it has further room to fall, in many analysts’ view. “The market is starting to get parity in its sights,” Lee Hardman, a currency economist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ in London, said, estimating that a one-to-one exchange rate could be reached within weeks. “The momentum is clearly for a weaker euro.”

但其中最引人注目的是欧元。很多分析师认为,它还有进一步下跌的空间。“市场开始发现一比一的情况就在眼前了,”三菱东京日联银行(Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubish iUFJ)货币经济师李·哈德曼(Lee Hardman)表示。他估计在几周内,欧元兑美元就会达到一比一的汇率。“欧元贬值的趋势相当明显。”

Part of the euro’s downturn stems from the existential questions that continue to dog the currency bloc, as dramatized by Greece’s continuing struggle with its creditors over revised bailout terms.


The bigger factor, though, is the impact of the European Central Bank’s program, which began this week, to buy 1.1 trillion in bonds by September 2016, while also holding its official interest rates at low, or in some cases even negative, levels. Those policies are meant to stoke the economy, but they are prompting global investors to seek better places to get a return on their money — like dollar-based stocks and bonds.


A Duke/CFO Magazine survey of United States companies published on Wednesday found that around two-thirds of the big American exporters polled reported a negative impact from the strong dollar.

杜克大学《首席财务官》杂志(Duke/CFO Magazine)本周三发表了一项针对美国大型出口商的调查,称大约三分之二的受访者都表示,美元走强给他们带来了不利影响。

“We are in a midst of an ugly contest to see whether the eurozone, Japan or Canada can depreciate the most against the U.S. dollar, and China is probably next,” Campbell R. Harvey, a Fuqua School of Business professor, said in a statement accompanying the survey. “U.S. exporters are being punished by these competitive depreciations, and this will lead to lower profits and less employment.”

“我们置身在一场丑陋的比赛之中,看看在欧元区、日本和加拿大之中谁的货币对美元贬值幅度会最大,下一个参与进来的可能就是中国了,”富库商学院(Fuqua School of Business)教授坎贝尔·H·哈维(Campbell R. Harvey)在这项调查的导语中说。“这种贬值会增加他们商品的竞争力,美国出口商正在因此蒙受损失,而这也将导致利润和就业岗位减少。”

If the strong dollar does continue to pose those sorts of economic threats, of course, the Fed might alter its thinking about when to raise interest rates. So far, Janet L. Yellen, the Fed chairwoman, has said that she sees factors like the strong dollar and weak oil price to be largely balanced.

如果美元走强对经济继续构成这些威胁,美联储当然就有可能改变加息时间。美联储主席珍妮特·L·耶伦(Janet L. Yellen)迄今一直表示,她认为美元走强、原油价格疲软这些因素在很大程度上保持了平衡。

But for the struggling eurozone, where unemployment is still averaging above 11 percent and where economies have stalled in most of the currency union’s 19 member countries, there is much to recommend a weaker euro.