AMLO Risks His Own Fall as He Tries to Pull Pemex Back From the Brink

3/21/2019 – Bloomberg Politics

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By Eric Martin and Justin Villamil

Pemex is personal for Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who grew up in Mexico’s oil heartland at a time when the state company was a source of national pride.

Now that he’s president, the leftist leader has made it a priority to pull Pemex out of a two-decade slump. Investors are worried that the opposite could happen, with the company dragging Lopez Obrador down instead, and the economy with him.

Petroleos Mexicanos, the company’s full name, is already the world’s most indebted oil major, owing about $108 billion. AMLO needs to cut that debt, while boosting investment and output. His solution? Slashing taxes on the company that has been a cash cow for the state for decades. The market concern is that he will fail to restore Pemex to profitability (it’s been in the red since 2012), while opening a black hole in the government budget.

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Mexican Bankers, Bosses Line Up to Woo Powerful President

3/21/2019 – the New York Times

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(lopezobrador.org.mx)

ACAPULCO, Mexico — For two years, financiers at Mexico’s biggest annual banking bash issued veiled warnings about the risk of veteran leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador taking power.

Now he is president, they and industry bosses have changed tack, pledging support for the popular new leader and his plans to revive the economy from the bottom up.

Bank bosses have used the run-up to the banking convention in Acapulco beginning on Thursday to signal approval for Lopez Obrador’s plans to tackle chronic inequality via welfare handouts, ramp up financial inclusion and lift economic growth.

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Growth in Mexican same-store retail sales picks up in February

3/13/2019 – Reuters

pexels-photo-811107.jpegMEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Annual growth in Mexican same-store sales accelerated in February, when consumer confidence hit a record peak, data from retail group ANTAD showed on Tuesday.

The group, whose members include chains Soriana and Chedraui, reported sales growth of 3.3 percent year-on-year in February. For January, ANTAD reported a sales increase of 2.5 percent year-on-year.

In February, Mexico’s consumer confidence index reached a record 119.9 points, gaining for the third month in a row after President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took office in December.

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Mexican president says no sign of recession despite slow growth

3/12/2019 – Reuters

AMLO.JPGMEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Monday that there are no signs of an impending recession despite slow economic growth, adding that his flagship infrastructure projects are on track.

In recent weeks, the government has come under pressure as credit ratings agencies Standard & Poor’s and Fitch issued a series of warnings about Mexican sovereign debt, oil firm Pemex and dozens of corporations.

During a speech marking the first 100 days of his administration, Lopez Obrador conceded that economic expansion remains slow but reiterated his goal of reaching 4 percent growth.

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OECD cuts Mexico growth forecast by half a point; AMLO unfazed

3/7/2019 – Mexico News Daily

1000x-1By Mexico News Daily

There has been another reduction in Mexico’s growth forecast, this time by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

It cut its forecast by half a point for both this year and next, calling for a 2019 growth rate of 2% and 2.25% in 2020.

The OECD’s Interim Economic Outlook said on a positive note that strong remittances, an increase in the minimum wage and government plan to boost infrastructure investment and revive energy production should lift domestic demand.

Further declines in inflation would offer scope for monetary policy easing, the report said.

Mexican Voters Love Their President, But Investors Are Wary

3/7/2019 – Bloomberg

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By Nacha Cattan

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, or AMLO as he’s known, is doing spectacularly well with voters 100 days into his term. The latest survey pegs his approval rating at 78 percent, a record for the first trimester of a presidential term since polling began in the 1980s.

But just as his popularity is soaring, market sentiment is souring, widening a divide between investors and the president’s base. The clearest sign of this is a substantial markdown in growth forecasts by Wall Street analysts. In a poll of institutional investors commissioned by Credit Suisse Group AG in February, three-quarters said the current economic situation was worse or much worse than a year ago.

In contrast, the majority of Mexicans see a president who’s delivering on his campaign pledges to fight crime, raise living standards, and reduce inequality. Since taking office on Dec. 1, his administration has launched welfare programs for the elderly and disadvantaged youth, abolished cushy retirement pensions for former presidents, and cracked down on gangs of gasoline thieves whose appetite for destruction rivals those of Mexico’s infamous drug cartels. The social-media-adept president touts his government’s achievements in daily press conferences watched by hundreds of thousands on YouTube.

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Mexico central bank pares growth forecasts, cites ratings concern

2/28/2019 – Reuters

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 REUTERS/Edgard Garrido/File Photo

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s central bank on Wednesday trimmed its economic growth forecasts for this year and next, while flagging the risk of a sovereign ratings downgrade and warning of persistent inflationary pressures.

In a quarterly report, the bank lowered its Mexican growth forecast to between 1.1 percent-2.1 percent for full-year 2019 and 1.7 percent to 2.7 percent for 2020, echoing increasing skepticism among private sector economists on the economic outlook.

The bank had previously forecast growth of between 1.7 percent-2.7 percent for 2019, and 2.0 percent-3.0 percent for 2020.

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