If there were ever any proof of the need for structural economic reform in Mexico, you could do worse than to look at February’s retail sales, which came in far below expectations.
On Monday, the government’s statistics agency reported that sales were down 0.1 per cent in February compared with the previous month in seasonally adjusted terms, and a chilling 2.6 per cent down on figures for the same month last year. HSBC had predicted a 1 per cent increase, and Banamex, Citi’s Mexico arm, had expected a 0.5 per cent increase). All in all, that is the worst year-on-year fall in more than three years. So what’s going on?