Os verdadeiros heróis da economia global

PRINCETON – Os governantes económicos que procuram modelos de sucesso para tentarem igualar ou ultrapassar, aparentemente têm uma abundância de opções nos nossos dias. Liderados pela China, muitos países emergentes e em desenvolvimento têm registado recordes nas altas taxas de crescimento, nas últimas décadas, estabelecendo precedentes para outros seguirem. Embora as economias avançadas tenham tido um desempenho muito aquém da média, há excepções notáveis, como a Alemanha e a Suécia. “Façam o que nós fazemos”, costumam dizer os líderes destes países, “e também irão prosperar”.

Contudo, se virem as coisas mais pormenorizadamente irão descobrir que os modelos de crescimento ostentados por estes países não podem ser repetidos em todos os países, uma vez que eles contam com grandes saldos positivos externos para estimular o sector de bens comercializáveis e o resto da economia. O superavit da conta-corrente da Suécia perfez uma média acima de uns colossais 7% do PIB ao longo da última década; a Alemanha perfez uma média próxima dos 6%, durante o mesmo período.

O generoso superavit externo da China - acima dos 10% do PIB em 2007 - diminuiu significativamente nos últimos anos, com o desequilíbrio da balança comercial a cair para perto dos 2,5% do PIB. Assim como o superavit caiu, também caiu a taxa de crescimento da economia - na verdade, foi quase ela por ela. Para não haver dúvidas, o crescimento anual da China continua a ser relativamente elevado, acima dos 7%. Mas o crescimento a este nível reflecte um aumento sem precedentes - e insustentável - do investimento nacional para quase 50% do PIB. Quando o investimento regressar aos níveis normais, o crescimento económico irá desacelerar ainda mais.

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