Chinese children on sidewalk in Beijing

La opción de China en materia de políticia monetaria

SHANGHÁI – La economía de China ha seguido un rumbo sorprendente en los últimos años: de motor sin precedentes a importante riesgo mundial, al menos en opinión de algunos. De hecho, en vista de que este año el crecimiento de China casi seguro que no alcanzará el objetivo del siete por ciento fijado por las autoridades, el mundo está mirando ahora atentamente posibles señales de crisis y una desaceleración mucho más marcada. ¿Cómo ha llegado China hasta aquí? ¿Podrá encaminarse de nuevo a restablecer su crecimiento económico?

El crecimiento de China llevaba un tiempo siendo insostenible. Un plan poco prudente de estímulo de la inversión en activos fijos, adoptada como reacción ante la crisis financiera mundial, mantuvo el crecimiento del PIB en el nueve por ciento durante dos años, pero, después de 2011, el estímulo se convirtió en una atadura macroeconómica, que causó un desplome del crecimiento de la inversión de una tasa nominal de más del 30 por ciento a otra del diez por ciento, aproximadamente, hace poco. Esa situación impide la utilización de la capacidad productiva y los recursos naturales y explica por qué el crecimiento del PIB por encima del siete por ciento es, sencillamente, imposible.

El exceso de capacidad y un crecimiento en declive se refuerzan mutuamente. No sólo tiene el exceso de capacidad repercusiones negativas en el crecimiento; tal vez más importante sea que un crecimiento marcadamente decreciente también contribuye a despidos en masa en algunas industrias (en particular la de los recursos naturales y las industrias pesada y química).

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