China está bien

NEW HAVEN – Hoy en día crece el temor de que la economía china pueda ir camino a un aterrizaje forzoso. El mercado bursátil chino cayó 20% en el transcurso del año pasado, a niveles que se habían visto por última vez en 2009. Una debilidad continua en los datos recientes -desde el sentimiento a nivel gerencial y la producción industrial hasta las ventas minoristas y las exportaciones- ha agudizado la ansiedad. Hoy muchos temen que China, que durante mucho tiempo fue el motor más poderoso de la economía global, se esté quedando sin combustible.

Esos temores son exagerados. Es cierto, la economía de China se desaceleró. Pero la desaceleración ha sido controlada, y probablemente siga siendo así en el futuro previsible. Todavía hay motivos sólidos para pensar que el aterrizaje será suave.

Las características de un aterrizaje forzoso de China son bien conocidas como resultado de la Gran Recesión de 2008-2009. El crecimiento anual del PBI de China se desaceleró marcadamente desde su pico de 14,8% en el segundo trimestre de 2007 a 6,6% en el primer trimestre de 2009. El crecimiento de China liderado por las exportaciones sufrió el embate de una monstruosa caída de la demanda externa que hizo que el comercio mundial se derrumbara un 10,5% sin precedentes en 2009, y así rápidamente pasó del auge a la debacle. A eso le siguió el resto de una economía china desequilibrada -especialmente el mercado laboral, que se deshizo de más de 20 millones de empleos sólo en la provincia de Guangdong.

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