Perdidos en la transición

WASHINGTON DC – Los mercados financieros y las noticias tienen algo en común: suelen oscilar rápidamente entre el éxito y el pesimismo. No existe ejemplo más claro que los análisis sobre las perspectivas de las economías emergentes. En los últimos meses, el entusiasmo por la capacidad de recuperación y el potencial de crecimiento de estos países después de 2008 ha dado paso a pronósticos funestos; hay economistas, como Ricardo Hausmann, que anuncian el final de la «fiesta de los mercados emergentes».

Son muchos quienes actualmente creen que la reciente y extendida desaceleración del crecimiento en las economías emergentes no es cíclica, sino el reflejo de problemas estructurales subyacentes. Esa interpretación se contradice con la de quienes –como yo– no hace tanto anticipaban un cambio en el motor de la economía mundial, con el surgimiento de fuentes autónomas de crecimiento en economías emergentes y en desarrollo, que compensarían el rezago de las economías avanzadas en problemas.

Por cierto, el escenario de referencia para la «nueva normalidad» poscrisis siempre ha incluido un crecimiento económico mundial menor que el de la bonanza previa a 2008. Para las principales economías avanzadas, la crisis financiera de hace cinco años marcó el final de un prolongado período de consumo interno financiado con endeudamiento, basado en efectos riqueza derivados de una insostenible sobrevaluación del precio de los activos. La crisis condujo a entonces a la desaparición del modelo chino de crecimiento basado en las exportaciones, que había ayudado a mantener a flote los precios de los productos básicos y, a su vez, a reforzar el crecimiento del PBI en los países en desarrollo que los producen.

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