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Changes in the structure of the economy have led to a significant shift in the natural balance between savings and investment, causing a decline in the equilibrium or normal real rate of interest that is associated with full employment. In this situation, a temporary increase in fiscal stimulus reduces, rather than increases, the long-run debt-to-GDP ratio.Anything that stimulates demand will operate in a positive direction. Austerity is counterproductive unless it generates so much confidence that it is a net increaser of demand.