Cómo andan nuestros motores económicos?

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Coordenadas 

Enrique Quintana

Imagine usted a la economía mexicana como un avión que tiene dos motores, uno en cada ala. En esta imagen, piense que uno de ellos corresponde al mercado interno y otro al externo.

La velocidad del avión depende de la fuerza de los dos motores, y la trayectoria también depende de la relación entre la velocidad de uno y otro.

Aunque la imagen simplifica mucho las cosas porque la realidad es más compleja, deja ver rasgos fundamentales en la dinámica de la economía mexicana.

Veamos.

En 2014 las exportaciones de bienes –uno de los indicadores del mercado externo– crecieron en 4.4 por ciento y el consumo privado lo hizo en 2.0 por ciento, a un ritmo de menos de la mitad respecto al de la demanda del exterior.

En 2015 y 2016, la dinámica se invirtió. Las exportaciones totales cayeron en 4.1 y 1.7 por ciento respectivamente, frente a un crecimiento de 2.8 y 3.3 por ciento del consumo privado interno.

La fuerza de la economía en esos años derivó en gran medida de su consumo interno luego de una caída de la demanda exterior.

A la mitad de 2017 tenemos un despegue de la demanda externa, con un crecimiento de las exportaciones de 10.4 por ciento, pero también con un consumo doméstico que creció 3.4 por ciento. Es decir, la mejor combinación de los últimos años.

Ese hecho explica por qué el crecimiento del PIB en el segundo trimestre del año llegó a 3.0 por ciento, una de las mejores cifras de todo el sexenio.

Esto quiere decir que, si acaso se mantuviera la dinámica de los dos motores el resto del año, probablemente tendríamos un crecimiento significativamente superior a lo que ahora se estima.

En cualquier caso, en la Encuesta de Citibanamex sobre perspectivas económicas, levantada quincenalmente, el promedio que ayer se dio a conocer es de un crecimiento de 2.1 por ciento como estimado por el PIB de este año. Vale recordar que apenas en abril el pronóstico del consenso era de 1.6 por ciento.

Pero, ojo, los pocos datos que se han dado respecto al consumo en julio previenen respecto a una pérdida de potencia del mercado interno.

Uno de ellos fue el correspondiente a la venta de autos, que cayó 7.3 por ciento en julio, respecto al mismo mes del año pasado. Y la otra fue el reporte que ayer presentó Walmart, con un crecimiento de sus ventas a unidades iguales y semanas comparables de 6.4 por ciento nominal para julio.

La inflación anual estimada para el mes y que se da a conocer mañana arrojará una cifra parecida, por lo que la tasa de crecimiento real será cercana a cero.

El escenario más probable para el segundo semestre del año es un debilitamiento del ritmo del mercado doméstico, que seguramente va a bajar a su vez el ritmo del consumo privado junto con exportaciones que van a seguir con uno de los mejores desempeños de los últimos años.

La resultante de esas dos fuerza quizás sea un crecimiento económico que tal vez se acerque más a 2.5 que a 2.0 por ciento.

Y también habrá un mayor dinamismo en los estados con fuerte presencia manufacturera o con un sector agropecuario de exportación, como los del Bajío o algunos del norte.

En contraste, las regiones que dependen más del comercio doméstico quizá pierdan parte de la fuerza que tuvieron en los últimos 24 meses.
Con todo y todo, los dos motores de la economía funcionarán este año mucho mejor de lo que la mayoría esperaba.

Twitter: @E_Q_

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