'I've Got Other Numbers!' Debate Rages Over Recession in Mexico
Mexico's economy, the 2nd largest in Latin America, has hit a rough patch, weighed down by dwindling business confidence and an industrial slump.But ahead of GDP data for the second quarter due on July 31, a debate has raged over whether all that gloom adds up to a recession.Several banks say definitely yes - an assessment that could call into question the ability of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's eight-month-old government to deliver on his promises of development and improved fortunes for the country's poor."We estimate GDP will also contract in the second quarter, putting Mexico in a technical recession, two consecutive quarters of negative growth," Bank of America Merrill Lynch said in a client note in late June.The government strongly disagrees."There has been a slowdown on a global level," said Finance Minister Arturo Herrera in his first press conference earlier this month, after his predecessor abruptly resigned. "But we are very, very far from thinking that we are close to a recession."In theory, defining whether there is a recession in Mexico could decide whether policymakers need to take action."If the government thinks there is a danger of recession, it could implement countercyclical measures to boost the economy a bit, or the Bank of Mexico could cut the interest rate, said Marco Oviedo, head of Latin America economics research at Barclays.While Lopez Obrador has raised eyebrows by saying "I've got other numbers" when presented with negative economic news, even he does not pretend Mexico is enjoying strong growth.The split between the government and private sector economists over the "R word" appears to focus more on how to define that highly charged term than any disagreement over substantive data.Those who are predicting recession cite the benchmark of two consecutive quarters of economic contraction - and say the preliminary GDP figures for... If you wish to read this full breaking news headline, plus more articles from around Thailand and Asia like, 'I've Got Other Numbers!' Debate Rages Over Recession in Mexico, simply click on 'Read full story' below, but 1st please give us a 'LIKE' or 'SHARE' before you leave. Thank you
Published By: VOA NEWS - Tuesday, 23 July
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