Japón y una estrategia de crecimiento equivocada

CAMBRIDGE – El nuevo gobierno japonés, liderado por el primer ministro Shinzo Abe, puede estar a punto de cometer un error garrafal. En pos de impulsar el crecimiento económico, las autoridades podrían en breve hacer trizas su gran ventaja: la reducida tasa de interés para el endeudamiento gubernamental y privado. Si eso sucede, es muy probable que la situación japonesa termine siendo peor que la actual cuando Abe finalice su mandato.

La tasa de interés japonesa de los bonos gubernamentales a 10 años actualmente es menor al 1 % –la más baja del mundo a pesar del alto nivel de endeudamiento estatal y los déficits presupuestarios anuales. De hecho, la deuda japonesa se acerca actualmente al 230 % de su PBI. Es mayor que la griega (175 % del PBI) y casi el doble de la italiana (125 % del PBI). El déficit presupuestario anual, cercano al 10 % del PBI, es mayor que el de cualquiera de los países de la zona del euro. Con el PBI nominal estancado, ese déficit está causando que la relación entre deuda y PBI aumente el 10 % cada año.

El gobierno japonés es capaz de pagar tasas tan bajas porque los precios internos han caído durante más de una década mientras que el yen se fortalecía respecto de otras de las principales monedas. La deflación interna implica que la tasa de interés real de los bonos japoneses es mayor que la nominal. El creciente valor del yen aumenta el rendimiento de los bonos japoneses respecto al de los bonos en otras monedas.

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