World Politics Review 9/24/2015
Earlier this month, the Mexican government submitted a budget to cut spending in 2016, including reduced investment in the state oil company Pemex, given the drop in global oil prices. In an email interview, Amb. Antonio Garza, former U.S. ambassador to Mexico and currently counsel in the Mexico City office of White & Case LLP, discussed Mexico’s economy and the impact of the oil shock.
WPR: How have declining oil revenues affected Mexico’s budget and spending power?
Antonio Garza: Historically, Mexico has relied on oil revenues to fund roughly one-third of its budget. This arrangement was fairly stable when oil prices were high, but as prices began plummeting last summer, so did the amount of money coming into government coffers, amounting to a roughly 36 percent year-on-year decrease for the first six months of 2015. The drop was steep, but things weren’t as bad as they could have been. Certain policies and outcomes—such as the government’s widespread hedging program, an uptick in non-oil taxes from the 2013 fiscal reform and a revenue surplus from the gasoline price cap—certainly helped lessen the budgetary pressure.