Il potenziale di crescita sprecato della Cina

SHANGHAI – Il rallentamento economico della Cina, dal quasi 10% di produttività annua nel 2007 all’8% di oggi, ha alimentato una diffusa speculazione sul potenziale di crescita dell’economia. Se però è impossibile predire la futura traiettoria di crescita della Cina, comprendere i trend economici di base rappresenta il miglior modo per trarre una stima significativa.

Mentre la domanda a breve termine stabilisce in gran parte un tasso di crescita reale dell’economia, il suo potenziale tasso di crescita è determinato dal fronte dell’offerta. Alcuni economisti – citando indicatori come i tassi di investimenti, il valore aggiunto per l’industria e l’occupazione – fanno un confronto tra la Cina e il Giappone di inizio anni 70. Dopo oltre due decenni di rapida crescita, l’economia del Giappone ha registrato una considerevole frenata nel 1971, portando a quattro decenni di tassi di crescita annui con una media inferiore al 4%.

Questa correlazione è rinforzata dall’ipotesi di convergenza – la teoria di benchmarking per stimare il potenziale tasso di crescita dell’economia – secondo cui il tasso di crescita reale di un’economia in via di sviluppo in rapida crescita rallenta quando raggiunge una certa percentuale di stock di capitale e reddito pro capite di un’economia avanzata. Secondo gli economisti Barry Eichengreen, Donghyun Park e Kwanho Shin, questa percentuale si aggira attorno al 60% del reddito pro capite dell’America (in base ai prezzi internazionali del 2005).

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