Los riesgos de la deflación

CAMBRIDGE – Actualmente la tasa de inflación es cercana a cero en Estados Unidos y varios otros países importantes. La revista The Economist informó recientemente que los economistas que había entrevistado predecían que los precios en Estados Unidos y Japón de hecho caerán en todo 2009, mientras que la inflación en la zona del euro será de apenas 0.6%. En Corea del Sur, Taiwán y Tailandia también disminuirán los niveles de los precios al consumidor.

La perspectiva de la caída de los precios refleja el colapso de la producción industrial, el alto nivel de desempleo resultante y el espectacular desplome de los precios de los productos básicos. La producción industrial está disminuyendo a niveles superiores al 10% en los países con inflación negativa y el índice de precios de todos los productos básicos cayó más del 30% a lo largo del año pasado.

La deflación es potencialmente un problema muy grave, porque la caída de los precios –y las expectativas de que seguirán cayendo—empeoraría la actual desaceleración de la economía de tres formas distintas.

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