money printing Mark WIlson/Getty Images

Cómo sincronizar el estímulo fiscal y la independencia de los bancos centrales

LONDRES – Hasta principios del otoño pasado, la economía global parecía atascada en una trampa deflacionaria. Durante cinco años seguidos, el Fondo Monetario Internacional había reducido su pronóstico de crecimiento de mediano plazo. En febrero de 2016, la portada de The Economist decía que los banqueros centrales estaban "Sin municiones". En octubre, las Perspectivas de la Economía Mundial del FMI llevaban el título "Demanda reprimida: síntomas y remedios", aunque parecía haber más de lo primero que de lo segundo. El excedente de deuda privada que resultó de la creación excesiva de crédito antes de 2008 se mantuvo sin solución.

Recién seis meses después, las perspectivas parecen haber cambiado, con mejores pronósticos generalizados en materia de crecimiento e inflación. Es verdad, un crecimiento decepcionante en el primer trimestre en Estados Unidos arroja dudas sobre la verdadera fuerza de la recuperación. Pero, por lo menos, parece que hemos dejado atrás años de desilusión serial.

Los pronósticos de crecimiento son mejores porque la política fiscal se ha relajado. Las economías avanzadas aliviaron su posición fiscal en 2016 a un nivel del 0,2% del PIB, en promedio, poniendo fin a cinco años de consolidación gradual. Más importante aún, el déficit fiscal de China aumentó de 0,9% del PIB en 2014 a 2,8% en 2015 y a 3,6% en 2016. Los mejores pronósticos de crecimiento de Estados Unidos suponen un déficit en el 2018 de, 4,5% del PIB, comparado con el 3,5% que se había proyectado anteriormente. Como observa el FMI, esto refleja "una reevaluación de la política fiscal", y un rechazo de la idea de que la política monetaria por sí sola puede impulsar la recuperación.

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