La bonanza de los productos básicos en América Latina

BUENOS AIRES - América Latina está experimentando un auge excepcional gracias al notable aumento de los ingresos por las exportaciones de recursos naturales, pero ¿está la región aprovechando esta oportunidad al máximo? ¿Se han utilizado estos fondos de la forma más eficaz posible?

Con la excepción de América Central, el aumento de los precios de los productos básicos ha mejorado las cuentas externas y la situación fiscal de los países de América Latina. Los ingresos por las exportaciones de recursos naturales representaron el 25% de los ingresos totales del sector público en 2008. En Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador y México, superaron el 40%. Esto asciende a alrededor del 7% del PIB en estos países (más del 11% en Venezuela y Bolivia, y el 8% en Ecuador y México).

Para determinar qué se debe hacer con este golpe de suerte, es importante saber si es probable que el aumento de los precios sea permanente o transitorio. En este último caso, el mejor curso de acción sería ahorrar los ingresos adicionales o usarlos, como segunda mejor opción, para reducir la deuda nacional. Sin embargo, si se piensa que el aumento será permanente tendría sentido aumentar el gasto o reducir la presión tributaria.

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