¿A qué velocidad crecerá China?

PEKÍN – En los 35 años desde que China comenzó su transición a una economía de mercado, ha crecido a una tasa promedio del 9,8 %: un crecimiento explosivo e inaudito. Pero hay señales de que el milagro chino está llegando a su fin o, al menos, de que el crecimiento económico de ese país se está desacelerando. La tasa de crecimiento chino ha estado cayendo desde el primer trimestre de 2010. En el tercer trimestre de 2014, fue de un relativamente anémico 7,3 %.

A medida que nos acercamos al final del año, es probable que el crecimiento económico chino continúe enfrentando fuertes dificultades, al menos cuando se lo compara con el de las décadas anteriores. Cuando los responsables de la formulación de las políticas en 2105 diseñen el decimotercero plan quinquenal, deberán lidiar con una pregunta fundamental: ¿Qué velocidad de crecimiento puede esperar China?

Al fijar metas para el PIB de un país, lo primero que se debe entender es la tasa potencial de crecimiento de la economía: el máximo ritmo de expansión que se puede alcanzar –suponiendo condiciones internas y externas favorables– sin poner en peligro la estabilidad y la sostenibilidad del crecimiento futuro. Como analizó Adam Smith en su libro La riqueza de las naciones, el crecimiento económico depende de las mejoras en la productividad del trabajo, que hoy son consecuencia de la innovación tecnológica o la modernización industrial (la resignación de capacidad productiva a nuevos sectores con mayor valor agregado).

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