14 de diciembre de 2010

Don’t Underestimate Spain’s Disaster Potential (WSJ)

Este era el título de un artículo del Wall Street Journal hace varias semanas. Indica que la preocupación sobre la situación de España no viene solamente de su deuda (que también) sino sobre todo de su débil economía (20% de paro y baja competitividad), el gran stock de viviendas sin vender y de la presión deflacionaria.

To begin with, take Spain’s unemployment rate. At 20% this year, according to IMF projections, it stands at double Portugal’s rate and is even higher than Ireland’s and Greece’s, which are 13% and 12% respectively. An economy where one in five of the working age population is without a job is not a healthy one, even when factoring in the likelihood that a substantial fraction of these jobless will be employed unofficially to get around rigid labor laws.

What’s more, the economy’s overall unhealthiness is reflected in a
current account deficit worth some 5% of GDP, which itself is seen shrinking this year. Like Ireland, Greece and Portugal, Spain has grown increasingly less competitive relative to Germany–whereas German unit labor costs rose by only 5% during the past decade, Spain’s have gone up by a third.

This means that unless German inflation starts to rise substantially, Spain, like the other peripheral euro-zone countries, is condemned to years of deflationary pressure in order to regain competitiveness.

Vale la pena leerlo entero.