Pedro Molina

Colombia y la crisis internacional

BOGOTA – Hace apenas cinco meses las autoridades colombianas aseguraban que el país estaba blindado contra la crisis internacional, y ahora los analistas estiman que la economía a duras penas crecerá alrededor de 1 por ciento en este año. Con este pronóstico sombrío se ha cerrado el ciclo de mayor crecimiento de las últimas tres décadas en Colombia, y el país ha quedado en la misma situación de fragilidad que muchas otras economías en desarrollo.

Claro que el deterioro de las perspectivas económicas no es patrimonio exclusivo de Colombia. Desde mediados del año pasado el Fondo Monetario Internacional ha venido reduciendo sus proyecciones de crecimiento a pasos agigantados: hace cinco meses la institución estimaba que la economía mundial crecería 3 por ciento en 2009, y ahora calcula que ese crecimiento apenas será de 0,5 por ciento. Las proyecciones para América Latina también han ido en descenso: en octubre pasado el Fondo estimaba que el crecimiento de la región sería de 3,2 por ciento en 2009, y ahora calcula que apenas superará el 1 por ciento. Lo más grave de todo es que las cosas pueden seguir empeorando: si en las próximas semanas la administración Obama no logra conjurar la crisis financiera y estabilizar el mercado laboral en Estados Unidos, las perspectivas de crecimiento seguirán cayendo en todo el mundo.

Así es el panorama económico que vemos por estos días todos los habitantes del planeta: sombrío e incierto. La buena noticia es que, en ese contexto, Colombia está mejor parada que muchos de sus vecinos. Aunque arriesgarse a lanzar cifras en estos momentos de zozobra es una labor estéril, la mayoría de los analistas estiman que, si bien el desempeño económico de Colombia este año será inferior al de Perú, debe ser similar al de Chile y Brasil, y será muy superior al de Argentina, Venezuela y México, país que incluso sufrirá una contracción cercana al 2 por ciento.

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