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Un mundo al revés

NEW HAVEN – Lento pero seguro, una economía mundial vapuleada y magullada parece estar saliendo del profundo malestar que arrastra desde la crisis. Si se cumplen las últimas proyecciones del Fondo Monetario Internacional (posibilidad todavía incierta), el casi 3,6% de crecimiento anual medio del PIB mundial esperado para el período 2017‑2018 representaría una ligera alza respecto del 3,2% de los últimos dos años. Una década después de la Gran Crisis Financiera, el crecimiento global por fin regresa al 3,5% de la tendencia post‑1980.

Pero este regreso no es señal de que el mundo haya vuelto a la normalidad ni mucho menos. Por el contrario, la tan cacareada idea de una “nueva normalidad” para la economía mundial pasa por alto una transformación extraordinaria en la dinámica del crecimiento global que tuvo lugar a lo largo de los últimos nueve años.

En principio, la reciente mejora se concentró en las economías avanzadas, cuyo crecimiento del PIB previsto para 2017‑2018 promedia un 2% (una significativa recuperación respecto del inusitadamente anémico 1,1% promedio de los nueve años precedentes). La relativa fortaleza de Estados Unidos (2,4%) contrastaría con la debilidad de Europa (1,7%) y, por supuesto, Japón (0,9%). Pero los pronósticos indican que el crecimiento anual en las economías avanzadas se mantendrá considerablemente por debajo de la tendencia a más largo plazo del 2,9% registrada entre 1980 y 2007.

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