La tormenta antes de la calma

OXFORD – Los bancos centrales pueden dejar de preocuparse acerca de la inflación. Es mucho más probable una deflación de los precios en el corto plazo. Sin embargo, una deflación temporal no tiene por qué ser la aterradora perspectiva que temen los banqueros centrales, al menos si el sistema bancario se recapitaliza y los tipos de interés caen abruptamente en los países industrializados.

En meses tan recientes como septiembre y octubre, la Reserva Federal de los Estados Unidos y el Banco central Europeo veían el riesgo de la inflación como equivalente al riesgo para el crecimiento. Ambas se mostraban reticentes a disminuir muy marcadamente los tipos de interés. De hecho, los mercados financieros pueden haber adoptado la visión de la Fed acerca de la inflación en EE.UU. como una que representaba las perspectivas inflacionarias de otros bancos centrales, reforzada por la sorprendente decisión del BCE el 2 de octubre de mantener los tipos de interés.

En octubre, Estados Unidos estaba a punto de sufrir el punto de inflexión en cuanto a inflación más importante de los últimos 20 años. Por supuesto, predecir la inflación es notablemente difícil. Ha habido grandes cambios estructurales en la economía mundial (por ej., la globalización del comercio y las finanzas) así como en economías individuales (como el declive del poder de los sindicatos). La política monetaria misma ha pasado a poner un énfasis mucho mayor sobre la inflación.

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