Repuntes engañosos

Nueva York – Las tibias señales de que el ritmo de contracción económica se está reduciendo en los Estados Unidos, China y otras partes del mundo han llevado a varios economistas a predecir que volverá a haber crecimiento positivo en EE.UU. en el segundo semestre, y que en otras economías avanzadas ocurrirá una recuperación similar. El consenso emergente entre los economistas es que el año próximo el crecimiento se acercará al índice de tendencia de 2,5%.

Los inversionistas están hablando de “aciertos” en el camino hacia la recuperación y de positivos “derivativos secundarios de la actividad económica” (la contracción económica ininterrumpida es el primer derivativo negativo, pero el ritmo más lento sugiere que se está por tocar fondo). Como resultado, los mercados de valores han comenzado a repuntar en los Estados Unidos y el resto del mundo. Parecen creer que hay luz al final del túnel para la economía y para las adoloridas utilidades de las corporaciones y las firmas financieras.

Mi opinión es que este optimismo no se apoya en los hechos. De hecho, veo que si bien el ritmo de contracción bajará de -6% en los últimos dos trimestres, el crecimiento estadounidense seguirá siendo negativo (alrededor de -1,5 a 2%) en el segundo semestre (a diferencia del optimista consenso de que será superior al 2%). Más aún, el crecimiento el año próximo será tan débil (0,5 a 1%, a diferencia de la opinión generalizada de que será de un 2% o más) y el desempleo tan alto (sobre el 10%) que todavía sentiremos que estamos en recesión.

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