Japanese cat ornament: Maneki Neko

El síndrome japonés llega a China

NUEVA YORK – China vive hoy lo ocurrido en Japón hace una generación: una marcada desaceleración del crecimiento económico después de que Estados Unidos exigiera la restricción de sus exportaciones. A fines de los 80 y principios de los 90, EE.UU. criticó a Japón como un “socio comercial injusto” debido a la notable alza de sus exportaciones manufactureras. Planteó amenazas claras, y en apariencia creíbles, de que podría limitar las importaciones japonesas. Con ello logró que Japón sobrevaluara el yen, lo que contribuyó a frenar súbitamente el crecimiento del país.

Puede que esto esté volviendo a ocurrir con China, cuyo crecimiento se ha reducido fuertemente por el peso de una divisa sobrevaluada debido a presiones de Estados Unidos. La Figura 1 muestra el tipo de cambio real (ajustado a la inflación) del yen desde 1964 (cuando se volvió convertible en cuenta corriente) hasta el día de hoy. El alza del índice señala una apreciación real, lo que significa que el yen ganó valor en relación con otras monedas, tras corregir según los cambios en los niveles de precios relativos.

Figura 1: Tipo de cambio real del yen japonés (2007=100)

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