La tecnología busca lugar entre los productos de consumo masivo

Solo el teléfono celular, Internet y una computadora de escritorio se incluyen en la canasta de cálculo del IPC. Su impacto en la canasta familiar es de apenas el 1,62%.

El consumo de bienes y servicios tecnológicos no tiene mayor peso en las estadísticas de gasto del ecuatoriano. Así lo refleja el cálculo del Índice de Precios al Consumidor (canasta familiar) del Instituto Ecuatoriano de Estadística y Censos (INEC).

Según la entidad, tres bienes tecnológicos están contemplados en la canasta familiar: el pago mensual por el uso de teléfono celular, el alquiler de Internet (ambos desde 2004) y una computadora de escritorio (desde 1994). El impacto de estos productos en la canasta de cálculo del IPC, que contiene 299 artículos, es de apenas el 1,62%.

Germán Rojas, ex titular del INEC, explica que los productos se seleccionan en base a la encuesta de hábitos y consumo de los hogares ecuatorianos.

En esta encuesta, explica Rojas, se determina cuánto gasta un hogar en los productos más representativos de un sector (salud, alimentos, educación…). En el caso de tecnología, los tres señalados son los más representativos.

Para Ernesto Kruger, presidente de la Asociación Ecuatoriana de Software (Aesoft), la razón por la que la tecnología no tiene más espacio en la canasta familiar es sencilla: la tecnología mejora condiciones de vida, pero no es vital. “Se puede vivir sin teléfonos móviles o ‘laptops’, pero no sin pan, leche, agua…”.

No obstante, analistas consultados consideran que los artículos tecnológicos sí tienen incidencia directa en el consumo. Álex Patiño, experto en informática, piensa que la tecnología debe ser considerada un bien de consumo masivo.

Según Patiño, un artículo se convierte en un bien de consumo masivo cuando su uso se vuelve necesario pero no imprescindible. Y cuando el acceso a esos bienes es fácil para la población.

Por eso, Patiño considera que en Ecuador los artículos como el celular, Internet y las computadoras portátiles son bienes que merecen estar en la lista de la canasta familiar. “Ahorran tiempo de trabajo y facilitan la comunicación”.

La telefonía móvil también ha llamado la atención de los analistas. Para Christian Silva, profesor de la Universidad de las Américas, las llamadas a celular encajan en el patrón de consumo de una familia ecuatoriana promedio y tienen directa relación con la canasta familiar.

En Ecuador, hasta agosto pasado se registraron 12,4 millones de abonados de telefonía móvil, según la Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones. Esto representa cerca del 88% de la población, es decir que de cada 10 ecuatorianos, casi nueve tienen acceso a un teléfono móvil.

El software es otro producto de análisis. Ana Chaparro, directora ejecutiva de la corporación tecnológica Machangarasoft, asegura que las soluciones ofimáticas (programas de procesadores de textos y hojas de cálculo), así como versiones actualizadas de sistemas operativos y programas de edición gráfica tienen una elevada demanda en los hogares. Por ese motivo, Chaparro considera que el software puede tener incidencia en la canasta familiar, junto con el rubro de educación.

Para Álex Patiño, el acceso desigual de los bienes tecnológicos crea poder en un grupo y dependencia en otro. Además, la tecnología mejora la educación, la competitividad y la productividad de un país.

De su lado, Ernesto Kruger agrega que la realidad del país es similar en la región. Lo contrario, añade, ocurre en los países de Europa, en especial del norte del continente. “Allá el alimento no es problema por lo que la tecnología pasa a ser considerada elemento de consumo diario”.

En España, por ejemplo, el 51,3% de los hogares dispone de conexión de banda ancha a Internet. Además, el número de internautas creció un 6,0% entre 2008 y 2009 y se acerca a los 21 millones de personas, según la Encuesta sobre equipamiento y uso de tecnologías de información y comunicación en los hogares.

Fuente: Líderes

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