La ilusión de una burbuja china

BEIJING – En la víspera del Año Nuevo chino, el Banco Popular de China (PBC, por sus sigla en inglés) sorprendió a los mercados al anunciar –por segunda vez consecutiva en un mes- un incremento en los coeficientes de reserva obligatorios de 50 puntos, llevándolos a un 16.5%. Poco antes de eso, el gobierno chino tomó medidas para detener el sobreendeudamiento de los gobiernos locales (a través de empresas públicas locales de inversión), y para calmar los agitados mercados de la vivienda regionales mediante el aumento del coeficiente del pago inicial para los compradores de una segunda vivienda y el coeficiente de garantía para los promotores inmobiliarios.

Esta última ronda de ajuste monetario en China refleja la creciente preocupación de las autoridades acerca de la liquidez. La oferta monetaria M2 (un indicador clave utilizado para pronosticar la inflación) aumentó en un 27% anual, y el crédito se expandió en un 34%. En enero de 2010, a pesar del estricto “control administrativoampquot; de las líneas de crédito financieras (el PBC de hecho estableció topes crediticios a los bancos comerciales), los créditos bancarios crecieron a una tasa anual de 29%, por encima de una fuerte expansión en el mismo periodo del año anterior. Si bien la inflación se mantiene baja, en un 1.5%, ha estado aumentando en meses recientes. Los precios de las viviendas también se han disparado en gran parte de las grandes ciudades.

Estos factores han hecho que algunos observadores de lo que sucede en China consideren la economía del país como una burbuja, e incluso que pronostiquen una recesión en 2010. No obstante, ese juicio parece prematuro, en el mejor de los casos.

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