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El dilema monetario de China

SHANGHAI – La insuficiencia de demanda está frenando el crecimiento económico de China. El problema real no es escasez de dinero: la oferta monetaria amplia (M2) ya es superior a 155 billones de yuanes (25 billones de dólares), es decir, el 200% del PIB, y sigue creciendo a un ritmo del 12 al 13% anual. La desaceleración actual es más bien reflejo de restricciones financieras a la economía real, un problema que será difícil resolver en un futuro cercano.

Irónicamente, a la par que estas restricciones se agravaban, se ha dado un fuerte crecimiento del sector financiero. De hecho, la expansión del M2 y de los activos crediticios en China es resultado de la prosperidad del sector financiero, motorizada en parte por el éxito de las innovaciones promercado.

Los orígenes de esta tendencia pueden rastrearse al menos hasta 2004, cuando la combinación de veloz crecimiento del superávit comercial, entrada masiva de capitales y aumento sostenido del tipo de cambio obligó al Banco Popular de China (BPC) a recurrir a la expansión monetaria como protección contra los riesgos derivados. Desde entonces, la inversión permanente en infraestructura y desarrollo inmobiliario impulsó la demanda interna, en un proceso que absorbió y reforzó el crecimiento del crédito. Luego en 2009, China dio un paso más, al introducir un masivo plan trienal de estímulo que amplió el crédito bancario a más de 20 billones de yuanes.

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