Euro statue Adam Berry | getty images

El BCE se vuelve dañino

TILBURG – El Banco Central Europeo lo hizo otra vez. En su reciente reunión en Fráncfort, el Consejo de Gobierno del BCE decidió aumentar aún más las compras de bonos, de 60.000 millones de euros (67.000 millones de dólares) a 80.000 millones de euros por mes. Por otra parte, ahora también existe la posibilidad de comprar bonos corporativos. Asimismo, se volvió a reducir la tasa de depósito una vez más, y ahora está en -0,4%. Esta dista de ser una política neutral -y lleva al BCE a excederse en su mandato de preservar la estabilidad monetaria.

La motivación detrás de las medidas recientes es clara: el presidente del BCE, Mario Draghi, está comprometido a frenar la deflación, una amenaza seria para el crecimiento económico. Después de todo, en un contexto deflacionario, resulta más difícil pagar las deudas, de modo que las empresas tenderán a posponer la inversión. Las cifras recientes de Eurostat, que muestran que el índice de precios al consumidor anual cayó 0,2% el mes pasado, no hacen más que agudizar los temores.

Pero si bien lo que estamos viendo es técnicamente una deflación -caídas sostenidas del nivel de precios que pueden reflejarse en desempleo y otros contratos-, no es una deflación estructural. Por el contrario, refleja en gran medida los precios bajos del petróleo, que han caído más del 70% desde junio de 2014. Por cierto, si descartamos los precios de la energía y los alimentos, la eurozona está en una situación de inflación estructural baja. Eso, junto con el precio del petróleo, en verdad debería beneficiar a la economía, ya que impulsa el consumo y la inversión.

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