El renminbi y la realidad

BEIJING – El tipo de cambio del renminbi una vez más se ha convertido en blanco del Congreso norteamericano. Pegarle a China, parece ser, se ha vuelto a poner de moda en Estados Unidos.

Sin embargo, esta ronda de ataque a China parece más extraña que la última. Cuando el Congreso presionó a China para que implementara una revaluación importante de la moneda en 2004-2005, el excedente de cuenta corriente de China aumentaba a un ritmo acelerado. Esta vez, el excedente de cuenta corriente de China se ha venido achicando significativamente, debido a la recesión global causada por el colapso de la burbuja financiera de Estados Unidos. El excedente anual total de China (sin contar a Hong Kong) hoy asciende a 200.000 millones de dólares, aproximadamente una tercera parte menos que en 2008. En términos de PBI, cayó incluso más, porque el PBI creció 8,7% en 2008.

En aquel momento, ajustar el renminbi al dólar hizo bajar el tipo de cambio efectivo real de China, porque el dólar estaba perdiendo valor contra otras monedas, como el euro, la libra esterlina y el yen. Pero esta vez, con un dólar que se viene apreciando frente a otras monedas importantes en los últimos meses, el tipo relativamente fijo entre el dólar y el renminbi hizo que la moneda de China se fortaleciera en términos de su tipo efectivo real.

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