El espectro de la estanflación global

Nueva York -- ¿Conducirá la creciente inflación global a una pronunciada desaceleración económica? Peor aún, ¿reavivará la estanflación, esa combinación mortal de inflación en aumento y crecimiento negativo?

La inflación ya está en aumento en muchas economías avanzadas y mercados emergentes, y hay señales de una probable contracción económica en muchas de las primeras (Estados Unidos, Reino Unido, España, Irlanda, Italia, Portugal y Japón). En las economías emergentes, la inflación ha estado asociada – hasta ahora – con el crecimiento, e incluso con el sobrecalentamiento de la economía. Pero la contracción económica en Estados Unidos y otras economías avanzadas puede conducir a una asociación –en lugar de una disociación—del crecimiento en los mercados emergentes, a medida que la contracción estadounidense desacelere el crecimiento y la inflación creciente obligue a las autoridades monetarias a restringir las políticas monetaria y de crédito. Entonces podrían  enfrentarse a una "estanflación lite" –inflación creciente unida a una marcada desaceleración del crecimiento.

La estanflación necesita un choque negativo del lado de la oferta que aumente los precios y al mismo tiempo reduzca la producción. Los choques estanflacionarios han provocado una recesión mundial tres veces en los últimos 35 años: en 1973-1975, cuando los precios del petróleo se dispararon tras la Guerra del Yom Kippur y el embargo de la OPEP; en 1979-1980 después de la revolución iraní; y en 1990-1991, tras la invasión de Kuwait por Iraq. Incluso la recesión de 2001 –desencadenada principalmente por la implosión de la burbuja de la alta tecnología—estuvo acompañada de una duplicación del precio del petróleo después del inicio de la segunda intifada palestina contra Israel.

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