El advenimiento de la estanflación

Nueva York - La economía mundial ha tenido varios años buenos. El crecimiento global ha sido fuerte y la división entre el mundo en desarrollo y el mundo desarrollado se ha achicado -la India y China lideran el camino, con un crecimiento del PBI del 11,1% y 9,7% en 2006, y 11,5% y 8,9% en 2007, respectivamente. Incluso a Africa le ha estado yendo bien, con un crecimiento superior al 5% en 2006 y 2007.

Sin embargo, los buenos tiempos pueden estar llegando a su fin. Durante años existió la preocupación sobre los desequilibrios globales causados por el gigantesco endeudamiento estadounidense en el exterior. Estados Unidos, a su vez, dijo que el mundo debería estar agradecido: al vivir más allá de sus posibilidades, el país ayudó a mantener en marcha la economía global, especialmente dadas las altas tasas de ahorro en Asia, que acumuló cientos de miles de millones de dólares en reservas. Pero siempre se admitió que el crecimiento de Estados Unidos bajo el gobierno del presidente George W. Bush no era sostenible. Hoy el día del juicio final asoma amenazadoramente.

La guerra mal concebida de Estados Unidos en Irak ayudó a alimentar una cuadruplicación de los precios del petróleo desde 2003. En los años 1970, los shocks petroleros derivaron en inflación en algunos países, y en recesión en otras partes, mientras los gobiernos aumentaban las tasas de interés para combatir los precios en suba. Y algunas economías enfrentaron lo peor de ambos mundos: la estanflación.

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