La secreta adicción al crédito de Alemania

LONDRES – En vista de que, según los datos recientes, las exportaciones alemanas se redujeron en un 5,8 por ciento de julio a agosto y de que la producción industrial disminuyó en un cuatro por ciento, ha quedado claro que la insostenible expansión del país impulsada por el crédito se está acabando, pero es muy propio de los frugales alemanes no verlo así. Al fin y al cabo, la deuda de las empresas y los hogares alemanes lleva quince años bajando como porcentaje del PIB y ahora también la deuda pública sigue una vía descendente. “¿Qué expansión impulsada por el crédito?”, podrían preguntar.

La respuesta estriba en la realidad de nuestra economía interconectada, que durante decenios ha dependido de un aumento insostenible del crédito y ahora afronta un grave endeudamiento. Antes de la crisis financiera de 2008, la relación entre el crédito y el PIB aumentó rápidamente en muchas economías avanzadas, incluidos los Estados Unidos, el Reino Unido y España. Estos países también acumularon deficits por cuenta corriente, con lo que proporcionaron la demanda que permitió a China y Alemania disfrutar de una expansión impulsada por las exportaciones.

El crecimiento impulsado por el crédito permitió a algunos países pagar la deuda pública. La relación de las deudas públicas irlandesa y española con el PIB –por citar dos ejemplos– se redujo en gran medida, pero la relación total entre la deuda y el PIB de las economías avanzadas, incluidas la deuda pública y la privada, aumentó del 208 por ciento en 2001 al 236 por ciento en 2008 y la deuda mundial total aumento del 162 por ciento del PIB mundial al 175 por ciento.

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