El contradictorio Banco de Inglaterra

OXFORD – Andrew Sentance, miembro saliente del Comité de Política Monetaria del Banco de Ingleterra, ha expuesto un panorama hipotético que menoscabaría la credibilidad del Banco de Inglaterra. Hay dos fuerzas contradictorias que podrían mantener la inflación muy por encima de su objetivo del dos por ciento no sólo este año y el próximo, sino también en 2013 incluso.

El dilema consiste en que cualquier depreciación de la libra esterlina aumenta el nivel de inflación importada que no queda compensada por la capacidad disponible en la economía. Dicho de otro modo, el Reino Unido tiene una capacidad disponible –la producción disminuyó el 6,4 por ciento durante la recesión y no se ha recuperado totalmente–, pero no suficiente. De modo que la inflación ha superado el objetivo del Banco durante todo el período de recuperación respecto de la crisis financiera de 2008 y, según Sentance, podría permanecer por encima de dicho objetivo durante el período de dos años de previsión a medio plazo del Banco.

Peor aún: si el Gobernador del Banco de Inglaterra, Mervyin King, está en lo cierto al sostener que la inflación superior al objetivo se debe a la inflación importada, aumentar los tipos de interés tendrá pocos efectos, a no ser que induzca una apreciación de la libra esterlina, lo que reduciría el costo de las importaciones, pero su depreciación ha de reequilibrar la economía al aumentar las exportaciones. De hecho, el Gobierno británico cuenta con eso. Su nueva Oficina de Responsabilidad Presupuestaria prevé que en los próximos años el comercio contribuirá tanto como el consumo al crecimiento del PIB.

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