Kitajska ‘bicikl ekonomija’ na poti v zid

Vem, da večina mojih akademskih kolegov ne mara Paula Krugmana (“ker je keynesianec” in “ker se vsak dan dela pametnega”). Kar je sicer meni vseeno: briga me ali je neoliberalec ali keynesianec ali mencingerijanec, strinjam se z njegovim pogledom, da imamo tokrat opravka s krizo povpraševanja in da je to mogoče prvenstveno reševati z ukrepi na strani spodbujanja povpraševanja (ob seveda komplementarnih ukrepih na strani ponudbe ter večje učinkovitosti javnih financ). Ampak glede Krugmanove zadnje kolumne, kjer je (briljantno) primerjal KItajsko s kolesom, ki se bo zaletelo v zid, bi se pa verjetno utegnili vsi strinjati.

Krugmanova zgodba o Kitajski je preprosta. Kitajska zadnjih 10 let investira več kot potroši. Medtem ko večina zahodnih držav namenja med 60 in 70% BDP za zasebno potrošnjo, Kitajska potroši le polovico tega, medtem ko skoraj polovico BDP investira. Samuel Sherraden ima na blogu zelo nazorno primerjavo izdatkovne strukture BDP za Kitajsko, ostale hitro rastoče države v razvoju ter za nekatere razvite države:

China’s consumption share of GDP has fallen fairly steadily since the era of economic reform in the late seventies.  But, as Pettis points out, during the past decade, the decline has been precipitous—falling from 46.4% in 2000 to 35.1% in 2010.  As consumption has fallen, investment has grown and now makes up nearly half of GDP.  From 2000 to 2009, the household consumption share of GDP fell 11.3%, while investment’s share rose by 12.4%. 

Other emerging economies have maintained much higher levels of household consumption than China.  Of the BRIC economies, China is the only one to have a consumption share of GDP drop below 45%.  According to the International Monetary Fund, the household consumption share of the economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China were 62.8%, 54.1%, 57.3% and 35.1%, respectively.

China’s low household consumption share is also unprecedented throughout history — most notably among other economies that pioneered the East Asian model of development marked by high levels of investment and low levels of household consumption.  In Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, household consumption fell during their early stages of development, but never to the levels of China’s current consumption.

Ali drugače povedano, Kitajska permanentno investira in investira, ne da bi jutri trošila, ampak da bi lahko jutri še več investirala. Ta model razvoja je na dolgi rok seveda nevzdržen. Deluje pa tako dolgo, dokler lahko svoje izdelke masovno prodaja na Zahod in dokler lahko (v skladu z Lewisovim modelom razvoja) rekrutira nove in nove milijone “kmetov” za zaposlitev v industriji. Kitajska mora investirati v nove proizvodne kapacitete zaradi kapacitet samih, sicer bi se gospodarstvo sesulo. Ali kot plastično pravi Krugman, kitajsko gospodarstvo je kot bicikl, ki se zruši, ko se neha premikati naprej.

China’s low-consumption high-investment economy was a kind of Ponzi scheme. Chinese businesses were investing furiously, not to build capacity to serve consumers, who weren’t buying much, but to serve buyers of investment goods — in effect, investing to take advantage of future investment, adding even more capacity. Would there ever be final buyers for what all this capacity could produce? Unclear. So, a kind of Ponzi scheme.

Kitajska zato ne zna (in ne more) zaustaviti gospodarske rasti. In takoj ko bo zmanjkalo bodisi “kmetov” bodisi tujega povpraševanja, se bo zaletela v zid. Kapitalski in nepremičninski baloni bodo počili. Z vsemi ekonomskimi in socialnimi posledicami. Zgolj vprašanje časa.

Kako velik bo problem kitajskega zloma za nas? Krugman pravi, da ne nujno prav velik:

How big a deal is this for the rest of us? At market values — which is what matters for the global outlook — China’s economy is still only modestly bigger than Japan’s; it’s around half the size of either the U.S. or the European Union. So it’s big but not huge, and, in ordinary times, the world could probably take China’s troubles in stride.

Unfortunately, these aren’t ordinary times: China is hitting its Lewis point at the same time that Western economies are going through their “Minsky moment,” the point when overextended private borrowers all try to pull back at the same time, and in so doing provoke a general slump. China’s new woes are the last thing the rest of us needed.

No doubt many readers are feeling some intellectual whiplash. Just the other day we were afraid of the Chinese. Now we’re afraid for them. But our situation has not improved.

One response

  1. Za tiste, ki razmere na Kitajskem spremljamo, pravzaprav nič novega. Komentatorji, ki so dolgo časa bili zelo optimistični glede kitajske nadaljnje rasti, so zadnje čase postali zelo, morda celo preveč pesimistični.

    Pok balona in katastrofa na Kitajskem seveda ni edini možen outcome. KItajci morajo iz investment-driven modela rebalansirati na consumption-driven model. Tega se tudi sami zavedajo in od novega vodstva se pričakuje, da bo ta projekt izpeljalo. Definitivno pa ne bo šlo brez pretresov, saj bodo trčili ob interese akterjev, ki jim trenutni sistem koristi, plus da bo to rebalansiranje potekalo ob mnogo nižjih stopnjah rasti, kot smo jih od Kitajske navajeni.

    Tako da Kitajcev še ne gre odpisati in tvoj sklep: “Kapitalski in nepremičninski baloni bodo počili. Z vsemi ekonomskimi in socialnimi posledicami. Zgolj vprašanje časa.” je nekoliko preuranjen.

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