Mexico 4, Brazil 2

The Economist, 8/11/12

CONGRATULATIONS are due to Mexico, which on August 11th won its first gold medal in the London Olympics, beating Brazil in the men’s football final. After 93 frantic minutes, the final score was 2-1 to Mexico. Mass celebrations followed in Mexico City.

This blog’s headline isn’t a misprint, but a reference to the score in a longer-term competition: economic growth. In recent years Brazil has outplayed Mexico, growing at 6% or more as Mexico bumped along in the slow lane. But lately that has changed. Last year Mexico grew by 4% and Brazil by 2.7%. This year Mexico is expected to get close to 4% again, whereas some economists reckon that Brazil’s rate could dip below 2%. A recent report by Nomura predicted that Mexico’s economy, currently half the size of Brazil’s, could end up the bigger of the two within the next decade.

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