red umbrella in japan Ramiro Agustin Vargas Tabares via ZUMA Wire

¿Los bancos centrales se quedaron realmente sin munición?

LONDRES – La economía global enfrenta un problema crónico de demanda nominal deficiente. Japón sufre un crecimiento cercano a cero y una inflación mínima. La inflación de la eurozona nuevamente volvió a ser negativa, y la inflación británica es de cero a la vez que el crecimiento económico se desacelera. La economía estadounidense es ligeramente más robusta, aunque inclusive allí la recuperación de la crisis financiera de 2008 sigue siendo decepcionantemente lenta, las tasas de empleo están muy por debajo de los niveles de 2007 y la inflación anual no alcanzará el objetivo del 2% de la Reserva Federal durante varios años.

Sin embargo, el debate sobre qué políticas podrían impulsar la demanda sigue siendo inadecuado, evasivo y confuso. En Shanghái, los ministros de Relaciones Exteriores del G-20 se comprometieron a utilizar todas las herramientas disponibles -estructurales, monetarias y fiscales- para impulsar las tasas de crecimiento e impedir la deflación. Pero muchos de los actores clave son más propensos a señalar lo que no pueden hacer que lo que sí pueden.

Los bancos centrales con frecuencia destacan los límites de sus poderes y lamentan la falta de progreso por parte del gobierno hacia una "reforma estructural" -una expresión comodín que cubre la liberalización comercial, las reformas del mercado laboral y de productos y las medidas para abordar los desafíos fiscales de mediano plazo, como los aumentos de la edad jubilatoria-. Pero si bien algunas de estas medidas podrían incrementar el crecimiento potencial en el largo plazo, casi ninguna puede marcar una diferencia en cuanto al crecimiento o las tasas de inflación en los próximos 1 a 3 años.

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