Duncan Wood, CSIS, 1/21/10
On Tuesday January 20th, Mexico’s Finance minister Ernesto Cordero gave a speech at the Mexico Institute of the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars and outlined the factors that give him confidence for his country’s economy and government finances. Focusing on the fundamentals of Mexico’s recovery from the brutal recession of 2009, Cordero stressed that federal government support to the economy during last year in fact saved jobs, kept the construction industry going, and prevented as many as three million people from slipping into poverty. Now with recovering exports, a depreciated peso, rising consumer confidence, strong banks, stabilizing oil production and continued infrastructure spending, Cordero claimed that Mexico is well-placed to improve its competitiveness and productivity in 2010-2011. Furthermore, the finance minister argued that a series of proposed reforms this year (political, sectoral and competition policy-based) will provide an additional boost to the economy.
The overall tone of the minister’s speech was solidly optimistic and indeed there are reasons to believe that the Mexican economy is set for renewed growth. But the fundamentals of the Mexican economy are less encouraging.