Paul Lachine

La mala apuesta de crecimiento de China

LONDRES – Recientemente hice dos viajes a China, justo cuando el gobierno estaba poniendo en marcha su decimosegundo plan quinquenal para reequilibrar el modelo de crecimiento a largo plazo del país. Esos viajes reforzaron mi opinión de que hay una contradicción potencialmente desestabilizadora entre los desempeños económicos de corto y mediano plazo de China.

La economía del país ahora se está sobrecalentando, pero con el tiempo, la inversión excesiva actual resultará deflacionaria tanto a nivel interno como global. Una vez que sea imposible aumentar la inversión fija –con toda probabilidad después de 2013— China estará en una situación de aguda desaceleración. En lugar de concentrarse en asegurar un aterrizaje suave ahora, los encargados del diseño de políticas chinos deberían preocuparse por el muro contra el que se puede estrellar el crecimiento económico en la segunda mitad del quinquenio.

A pesar de la retórica del nuevo plan quinquenal – que al igual que el anterior busca aumentar la participación del consumo en el PIB–  el camino más fácil es mantener el status quo. Los detalles del nuevo plan revelan que se seguirá recurriendo a la inversión, incluso en el sector de la vivienda pública, para apoyar el crecimiento, en lugar de una apreciación más rápida de la moneda, transferencias fiscales sustanciales a los hogares, impuestos a y/o privatización de las empresas propiedad del Estado, liberalización del sistema de registro de los hogares (hukou) o un relajamiento de la represión financiera.

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