¿Brasil en la ruina?

SÃO PAULO – Tras años de crecimiento impresionante, las perspectivas económicas de Brasil se ven cada vez más inciertas. Desde julio, cuando terminó el Mundial, la actividad económica se desplomó, las presiones inflacionarias se intensificaron, y la confianza de consumidores y empresas se derrumbó. Esto llevó a muchos economistas a recortar sus previsiones de crecimiento para este año. La pregunta es ¿qué tan grave es la situación económica de Brasil y cómo puede afectar al resultado de la elección presidencial de octubre?

A primera vista, la falta de crecimiento en Brasil parece pasajera, y la presidenta Dilma Rousseff debería estar bien posicionada para ganar un segundo mandato. En los últimos doce años, el gobierno del Partido de los Trabajadores (PT) dio al país el mayor crecimiento del PIB per cápita en más de tres décadas; redujo la desigualdad de ingresos, mediante un amplio sistema de transferencias sociales que alcanza a un tercio de los hogares brasileños; y bajó el desempleo formal a 4,5%, un mínimo histórico.

Pero basta echar un vistazo a los datos económicos recientes para constatar que el modelo de crecimiento de Brasil puede estar dándose contra una pared estanflacionaria. De hecho, todo indica que durante la primera mitad del año Brasil estuvo en recesión técnica, y es probable que el crecimiento anual promedio durante la presidencia de Rousseff no haya llegado a 2%. Esta es la cifra más baja para cualquier presidente brasileño desde los ochenta, cuando el país comenzó a dejar atrás una historia de hiperinflación e impagos en serie para convertirse en una economía de ingresos medios estable y cada vez más próspera.

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