Renminbi bank notes Si Wei/Xinhua via ZUMA Wire

Un piso para el yuan

BEIJING – El Banco Popular de China (BPC) se enfrenta a un dilema. Tras casi una década tratando de frenar las expectativas de apreciación continua del yuan (alentadas por los superávit de cuenta corriente y de capital de China), en el primer trimestre de 2014 logró lo que buscaba, cuando con su decidida intervención en el mercado provocó una caída del tipo de cambio para desalentar la especulación monetaria (carry trade). Pero ahora, el BPC se enfrenta a un desafío más difícil, porque expectativas de depreciación aparentemente irreversibles debilitan la estabilidad económica de China, justo cuando el país más necesita limitar la incertidumbre.

Como la intervención de 2014 coincidió con el debilitamiento de los fundamentos económicos de China, fue como hacer fuerza para abrir una puerta que ya estaba abierta. En vez de oponer resistencia creíble a la presión alcista sobre el tipo de cambio (el efecto deseado), la intervención activó una caída lisa y llana, que sembró expectativas de depreciación en los mercados de cambio.

Fue así que en el segundo trimestre de 2014 China registró el primer déficit de cuenta de capital en décadas. Y llegados al primer trimestre de 2015, ese déficit sobrepasó el superávit de cuenta corriente, y China tuvo el primer déficit de balanza de pagos internacional de su historia reciente.

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