Latin America consumers switch to budget bands

September 24, 2014

09/23/14 Financial Times 

money laundering -- dollar billsFrom Pampers to Panasonic, Latin America’s consumers have gorged on big-name global brands for more than a decade. Spurred on by rising prosperity, easier access to credit, and the emergence of glitzy shopping malls, the good times have rolled. And they have continued to roll even as economies have cooled. Spending in shops across the region topped $1tn last year – up 11 per cent on the year before, according to Euromonitor, the research company. The squeeze on spending power, especially in Brazil and Mexico, barely registered.

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Mexico economy could pick up in second half of 2014 – central bank’s Sanchez

July 22, 2014

07/21/14 Reuters UK

faucet gold coinMexico’s economy likely picked up speed in the second quarter, helped by signs of improving domestic consumption, and growth could be stronger in the second half of the year, a Central Bank deputy governor said on Monday.

Manuel Sanchez, one of five governors on the Bank of Mexico’s board, told Reuters in an interview that the economy appeared to have grown slightly more than expected in the second quarter.

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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 manufacturing surge hides low-wage drag on economy

June 3, 2014

Export Or Import DirectionsReuters, 06/03/14

Abundant cheap labor has helped Mexico lure billions of dollars in foreign investment in recent years and spur a manufacturing sector so dynamic it has been likened to China.

But the same low wages that help make manufacturers competitive are a long-term drag on the economy. Millions of people working off the books for paltry sums holds back private consumption, crucial for sustained growth.

The government has slashed its growth forecast for 2014 after the economy expanded by just 0.3 percent in the first quarter, well short of expectations.

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Mexican Home Builder Geo Files for Bankruptcy

March 21, 2014

Mexican engineersThe Wall Street Journal, 03/21/14

Mexican home builder Corporación Geo SAB said Thursday it has filed for bankruptcy protection in Mexico with a prearranged restructuring plan it hopes will get the struggling company building again. In a statement, Geo said several bank creditors and bondholders signed off on the plan.

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Videgaray Says No Need to Intervene as Mexico’s Peso Weaken

January 24, 2014

luis videgarayBloomberg, 01/24/2014

Mexico’s Finance Minister Luis Videgaray said there is no need to support the peso, which has fallen to its weakest in 18 months, because the market remains sufficiently liquid.

“The Mexican peso market is, fortunately, highly liquid and at the moment doesn’t require any support,” Videgaray said in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “We have a very liquid market and we don’t see the need to inject liquidity, to intervene.”

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Mexico’s reversal of fortune

January 17, 2014

Ancient Mayan pyramid, KukulcanReuters, 01/17/2014

In Latin America, this looks to be the year of Brazil — thanks to the impending World Cup and presidential elections. But with another lackluster year looming in emerging markets, fans of transformation, growth and investment potential should instead look to Mexico.

Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff, is expected to win a second term this year, and its soccer team stands a good shot at victory. But growth has slowed considerably. In the world’s seventh largest economy, reforms are stagnating and the country faces a possible ratings downgrade.

Mexico, by contrast, is in the throes of serious reforms. It will likely lead Latin America with at least 4 percent growth this year and an improving investment outlook. Standard & Poor’s recently boosted Mexico’s credit ratings because of energy reforms that the rating company trumpeted last month as a “watershed moment” for the country. It is becoming a story of inverted fortunes, as Michael Shifter and Cameron Combs of the Inter-American Dialogue recently wrote.

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