Mexican Economy Sees Glimpse of Recovery

June 26, 2014

06/25/14 The Wall Street Journal

financeAfter many months of dreary economic news from Mexico, upbeat April data buoyed hopes that the economy is finally on the path toward improved growth.

The government of President Enrique Peña Nieto and some economists welcomed the broad 1.3% expansion in the global index of economic activity in April, which marked the best monthly performance since November 2012, bolstered by growth in services, construction and industry.

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Mexico lurches between crisis and reform

June 11, 2014

06/10/14 Deutsche Welle

Mexican pesoMexico’s economy is stuck in a rut that it won’t be able to climb out of easily. Growth forecasts have again been revised downwards – but the government says the economy will boom once reforms are implemented.

Mexican Finance Secretary Luis Videgaray Caso looked a bit tense during his appearance before the executives at BBVA Bancomer, one of the country’s main banks. He had intended to radiate optimism. But Mexico’s economy simply doesn’t seem to be able to get back on track, and all the world wants to know: What’s going on?

Last week, the government of President Enrique Peña Nieto revised its growth forecasts downward, from 3.9 to 2.7 percent. Earlier, the central bank had released figures that predicted lower economic growth than had been expected.

Although the Mexican economy actually grew last year – even if by just 1.1 percent – the numbers for the current year are disappointing compared to those of other Latin American countries such as Peru and Colombia.

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Mexico’s economy: Jam mañana

May 22, 2014

Mexico CityThe Economist, 05/24/14

So far this year Mexico’s government has resembled one of the country’s many devotees of St Jude, patron saint of lost causes. It has doggedly stuck to a 3.9% 2014 growth forecast, even though its main export market, the United States, has been sluggish, and the twin pillars of its domestic economy—buying and building—have fared even worse.

On May 21st the central bank revised its growth prediction down to 2.3-3.3%, from 3-4% previously. The government was expected finally to follow suit on May 23rd, when first-quarter GDP figures were due to be released. Even so, officials are convinced that within months the benefits of its plans to modernise the economy will start to show up in the numbers.

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What Does Mexico’s Oil Industry Reform Mean For Investors?

December 16, 2013

Forbes, 12/16/2013

Ancient Mayan pyramid, KukulcanLast week Mexico’s Congress approved a bill to end a seven-decade long state oil monopoly. In coming years foreign companies could invest as much as $20 billion a year in Mexico’s oil sector, thanks to new rules that will allow production sharing.

Although the energy reform bill, spearheaded by Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto during his first year in office, has been vociferously opposed by Mexico’s left, the bill has the backing of Peña’s centrist PRI party as well as the right-of-center party of former President Felipe Calderon. Together the PRI and the PAN had enough votes to push the bill through Congress, where it was approved 353-134.

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Mexico’s economy to grow nearly 4 pct in 2014, report says

December 11, 2013

Global Post, 12/9/2013

drawing bar chartMexico’s economy will rebound in 2014 and grow 3.9 percent, compared to the 1.2 percent growth registered in 2013, insurer Credito y Caucion said in a report released Monday. “Mexico will be the exception in a changing pattern of growth in which the advanced markets will grow more while the emerging (markets) will continue leveling off” in 2014, Credito y Caucion said.

The company is a unit of Grupo Atradius, which operates in 45 countries. Mexico’s economy will rebound because of “its unique relationship with the United States,” the destination for nearly 80 percent of Mexican exports, Credito y Caucion said.

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After president’s first year, Mexico still a mess by many measures

December 2, 2013

Los Angeles Times, 12/1/2013

Enrique PeñaNieto 2To President Enrique Peña Nieto’s supporters, his first year in office has been a time of bold promises kept as he pursues an ambitious agenda of reforms designed, in the long term, to bring peace and economic growth to Mexico.

But in the short term, by many measures, his country remains a mess. Though he promised to focus on Mexico’s economic potential, Peña Nieto has presided over an economy that has hardly grown at all. Though he vowed to reduce the kind of violence that affects innocent citizens, his record has been mixed, with kidnappings and extortion rising nationwide even as the number of homicides drops.

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Pessimism plagues Mexico year after new leader arrives

December 2, 2013

USA Today, 12/1/2013

peña-nietoPeña Nieto arrived in office one year ago on Dec. 1, 2012, promising to calm the country and produce long-stalled structural reforms, which he said would allow Mexico to achieve 6% annual growth.

But Peña Nieto’s anniversary arrives amid a growing pessimism as the economy slumps, his agenda of structural reforms encounters resistance, and the security situation remains the same or worse in many places — prompting fed-up citizens in some areas to grab guns and organize vigilante groups.

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IMF urges Mexico to undertake further tax reform

November 27, 2013

Reuters, 11/26/2013

imfMexico’s recent tax overhaul does not do enough to curb the government’s dependence on oil revenue while other major reforms may not boost economic growth as much as authorities forecast, the International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday.

“With the prospect of declining oil production over the next decade, the federal government needs to beef up its collection on non-oil revenues,” the IMF said in a report on the fiscal reform that accompanied its so-called Article IV consultation with Mexican authorities.

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Mexico Sees Economic-Growth Boost From 2014 Budget

November 15, 2013

The Wall Street Journal, 11/14/2013

luis videgarayIn response to the economic slowdown this year, when gross domestic product is expected to grow just 1.2%, the Congress approved a fiscal deficit for next year equivalent to 3.5% of gross domestic product. This includes financed investment at state oil monopoly Petróleos Mexicanos for 2% of GDP. This year’s deficit is expected to be around 2.4% of GDP.

The infrastructure budget includes significant amounts for roads, ports, railways and water projects, as the government aims to give a boost to the struggling construction sector. Funds have also been earmarked for reconstruction, particularly in the southern state of Guerrero, which was hit hard by tropical storm Manuel in September.

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Op Ed: The U.S. Can’t Afford to Scrap the Visa Lottery

November 4, 2013

Businessweek, 11/4/2013

Obama-immigration-reformTwo weeks ago, President Obama called on Congress to turn its attention back to immigration reform. Lawmakers have instead found other things to keep themselves occupied–pillorying Kathleen Sebelius and the intelligence services, among them—and the prospects for immigration reform remain dim. For those who believe the U.S. should be encouraging more immigrants, not less, there’s a small silver lining to Congressional inaction. Although the proposed legislation would have had a considerable net benefit, it also might have ended one of the most innovative and economically effective migration policies America has: the diversity lottery. Now that reform efforts are on hold, lawmakers have a chance to preserve it.

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