Argentina inflation Fabian Gredillas/Getty Images

El poder destructivo de la inflación

CAMBRIDGE – La semana pasada estuve en Argentina, y la visita fue un recordatorio del poder devastador de la inflación elevada. El índice actual en Argentina es alrededor de 20% anual (una reducción respecto del año pasado, cuando se estima que alcanzó el 40%). El banco central hace esfuerzos para mantener la economía en una senda desinflacionaria, con el objetivo de llegar a una tasa del 5% de aquí a tres años.

Hubo momentos en que la inflación en Argentina fue mucho más alta. En los quince años entre 1975 y 1990, la inflación anual promedio alcanzó la notable cifra de 300%; es decir, el nivel de precios se duplicaba en cuestión de meses. En 1989 los precios aumentaron a un ritmo anual explosivo, superior al 1000%, hasta que finalmente fue posible controlar la inflación.

Incluso fue prácticamente eliminada. Recuerdo mi visita a Argentina a mediados de los noventa, cuando casi no había inflación. En aquel tiempo, el peso argentino estaba atado al dólar estadounidense por la llamada “convertibilidad”, y las transacciones cotidianas en las calles de Buenos Aires se hacían con cualquiera de las dos monedas por igual.

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