Cómo lograr crecimiento en un mundo reequilibrado

MILAN – Si bien la crisis financiera está amainando, es improbable que las perspectivas de crecimiento de la economía global repunten. Esto, en parte, es inevitable. Pero también es el resultado de una mala coordinación entre los gobiernos mientras la economía mundial se reequilibra.

Con anterioridad a la crisis, los consumidores norteamericanos, en promedio, o no ahorraban nada o acumulaban deuda. Eso ahora ha cambiado. Debido a que la riqueza de los hogares se vio seriamente afectada por la crisis inmobiliaria y otras caídas de los precios de los activos, las pensiones y los planes de retiro están en un estado de confusión. Como los precios de los activos no alcanzarán los niveles previos a la crisis en el corto plazo (es decir, sin inflar otra burbuja y correr el riesgo de una renovada inestabilidad), la capacidad de ahorro de los hogares en Estados Unidos ha aumentado a aproximadamente el 5% del ingreso disponible, y probablemente siga creciendo.

Este repliegue del consumidor norteamericano es parte (tal vez en un 50%) del proceso de reequilibrio de la economía global. Restablecer el equilibrio entre el ahorro y la inversión de Estados Unidos implica una reducción de la demanda agregada global de aproximadamente 800.000 millones de dólares.

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