Japan deflation Bloomberg | Getty Images

El miedo al monstruo de la deflación

BRUSELAS – Los bancos centrales de todo el mundo desarrollado están agobiados por el miedo a la deflación. No deberían estarlo: este miedo es infundado y obsesionarse con el mismo es perjudicial.

Japón es la estrella de la cartelera cuando se trata de este temor. En el año 2013, las décadas de caídas (suaves) en los precios llevaron a que el Banco de Japón se embarque en una ofensiva monetaria sin precedentes. Sin embargo, si bien la inflación general se incrementó durante un tiempo, los factores impulsores de dicho aumento – una depreciación competitiva del yen y un aumento de impuestos – no duraron mucho. Ahora, el país está deslizándose nuevamente con dirección a una casi deflación, situación que está siendo resaltada en titulares saturados de pánico.

Pero, contrariamente a la impresión creada por las noticias difundidas por los medios de comunicación, la economía japonesa está lejos de estar moribunda. El desempleo prácticamente ha desaparecido; la tasa de empleo continúa alcanzando nuevos máximos; y, el ingreso disponible per cápita va en constante aumento. De hecho, incluso durante las llamadas “décadas perdidas” del Japón, el ingreso per cápita creció tanto como lo hizo en Estados Unidos y Europa, y la tasa de empleo se incrementó, lo que sugiere que puede que la deflación no sea tan nefasta como los bancos centrales parecen creer que lo es.

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