Paul Lachine

La sorpresa del ahorro de Estados Unidos

CAMBRIDGE – La tasa de ahorro de los hogares de Estados Unidos se ha triplicado en los últimos tres años. ¿Por qué? ¿Y qué significa esto para la economía estadounidense y el resto del mundo?

El rápido incremento en el ahorro ha reducido el gasto en consumo, retardando el ritmo del crecimiento del PBI en 2009 y principios de 2010. Si la tasa de ahorro sigue subiendo rápidamente, podría generar otra caída de la frágil economía de Estados Unidos. Eso implicaría menores importaciones, lo que crearía un potencial problema para los países que, para su empleo, dependen de las exportaciones a Estados Unidos.

Un mayor nivel de ahorro de los hogares deprime el consumo porque es la diferencia entre el ingreso neto después de impuestos de los hogares y lo que gastan. El ahorro puede depositarse en cuentas bancarias o ser utilizado para comprar fondos mutuos o acciones corporativas. El ahorro también puede cobrar la forma de aportes individuales a cuentas de retiro o aportes de los empleadores a planes de ahorro corporativos. Reducir deudas de las tarjetas de crédito o hipotecas también cuenta como ahorro -no así los incrementos en el valor de los activos existentes como acciones o bienes raíces, aunque estos aumenten el valor de la riqueza de los hogares.

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