I veri eroi dell'economia globale

PRINCETON – Per i policy maker del settore economico in cerca di modelli di successo da emulare la scelta sembra essere piuttosto ampia oggigiorno. Con la Cina in testa, decine di paesi emergenti e in via di sviluppo hanno registrato tassi di crescita da record negli ultimi decenni, creando un precedente per altri che verranno. E mentre la performance delle economie avanzate è stata in media peggiore, vi sono eccezioni degne di nota, come la Germania e la Svezia. "Fate come noi", dicono spesso i leader di questi paesi, "e anche voi prospererete".

A un'occhiata più attenta, invece, scoprirete che il tanto decantato modello di crescita di questi paesi non può essere applicato ovunque, perché si basa su elevati surplus esterni per stimolare il settore dei beni scambiabili e il resto dell'economia. Nell'ultimo decennio, il surplus di parte corrente della Svezia si è mantenuto al di sopra di uno straordinario 7% del Pil, mentre quello tedesco ha tenuto una media del 6% durante lo stesso periodo.

Il consistente surplus esterno della Cina – superiore al 10% del Pil nel 2007 – si è ridotto in modo notevole negli ultimi anni, con lo squilibrio commerciale sceso a circa il 2,5% del Pil. Una volta diminuito il surplus, è calato anche il tasso di crescita dell'economia, quasi punto per punto. In realtà, la crescita annuale della Cina è rimasta relativamente elevata, cioè oltre il 7%. Una crescita a questo livello, però, riflette un inedito, e insostenibile, aumento degli investimenti interni pari a quasi il 50% del Pil. Quando gli investimenti torneranno a livelli normali, la crescita economica subirà un nuovo rallentamento.

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