Demasiado ahorro, muy poca inversión

Se habla mucho de un exceso de ahorro global. De hecho, la economía mundial padece no de un exceso de ahorro sino de falta de inversión. Para remediarlo necesitamos dos tipos de transiciones. De lo bien que el mundo las haga dependerá que el fuerte crecimiento global de los años recientes sea sostenible. Ese es el mensaje central del World Economic Outlook que se dará a conocer esta semana [editores: el miércoles 21 de septiembre de 2005] en vísperas de la Reunión Anual de 2005 del Fondo.

Primero, el consumo debe dar paso de manera ordenada a la inversión, a medida que se elimina el exceso de capacidad y que las políticas expansivas de los países industriales se normalizan. Segundo, para reducir los desequilibrios actuales en cuenta corriente que se han generado, la demanda se tiene que desplazar de los países con déficits a los países con superávits. Dentro de esta segunda transición, los elevados precios del petróleo significan que el consumo de los productores de hidrocarburos debe aumentar mientras que el de los consumidores debe disminuir.

La situación actual tiene sus raíces en una serie de crisis provocadas a lo largo de la década pasada por una inversión excesiva, particularmente el estallido de la burbuja de los activos japoneses, las crisis en economías emergentes de Asia y América Latina y el estallido de la burbuja de la tecnología de la información en los países industriales. Desde entonces, la inversión ha caído abruptamente y apenas ha experimentado una recuperación muy cautelosa.

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