No sigan a la Reserva Federal

La Reserva Federal de los Estados Unidos enfrenta un dilema, ya que necesita seguir elevando las tasas de interés de cara a una economía devastada por los huracanes. El hecho de que no lo hiciera con más anticipación constituye una potente lección para el Banco Central Europeo: después de un prolongado periodo de estabilidad monetaria a tasas de interés inusualmente bajas, esperar demasiado para elevar las tasas a niveles más normales y adecuados puede tener consecuencias peligrosas.

La Reserva comenzó tarde el proceso de normalización de las tasas de interés, y ahora está sufriendo las consecuencias. El BCE no debe cometer el mismo error, incluso si se tiene en mente que los dos bancos centrales funcionan en diferentes ambientes y con distintas limitaciones.

En la zona del euro abundan los signos de advertencia acerca de una inflación inminente. De un tiempo a esta parte, el crecimiento de la oferta de dinero ha estado muy por encima de los niveles planteados como objetivo, lo que indica un exceso de liquidez. La inflación anunciada de septiembre, de un 2,6%, está por sobre el objetivo del BCE de un 2%, y lo mismo ocurre en el caso del último pronóstico para la inflación de 2006 (los pronósticos actualizados se harán públicos a comienzos de diciembre). Otmar Issing, economista en jefe del BCE advierte que “el periodo de moderación salarial debe llegar a su fin”, implicando que el encarecimiento de la energía ahora está pasando al nivel general de precios (los así llamados “efectos de segunda ronda”.)

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