Un estímulo oculto para Europa

LONDRES – El Consejo Europeo en su próxima reunión del 7 de febrero debería considerar a la inversión privada para comenzar la reactivación de la paralizada economía europea. Los sectores que habitualmente impulsan el crecimiento del PBI en Europa están limitados, el único sector económico capaz de gastar es el sector corporativo no financiero.

De hecho, las empresas europeas que cotizan en bolsa tenían disponibilidad excedente de efectivo por más de €750 mil millones de euros ($1 billón) en 2011, un valor cercano al máximo de los últimos 20 años. Desbloquear ese efectivo le daría a Europa un paquete de estímulo mucho mayor al que puede proporcionar cualquiera de los gobiernos. En 2011, por ejemplo, la inversión privada en Europa llegó a un total de más de €2 billones, mientras que la inversión gubernamental fue menor a €300 mil millones.

Sin embargo, mientras que las tendencias en las economías europeas han sido diversas, la inversión privada fue, en general, el componente más golpeado del PBI durante la crisis: cayó más de €350 mil millones –10 veces más que el consumo privado y 4 veces más que el PBI real– entre 2007 y 2011. La magnitud de la reducción en la inversión privada no tuvo, de hecho, precedentes –y es parte central del malestar económico europeo.

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