López Obrador highlights well-being in the face of Mexican economy contraction in 2019

The president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, highlighted on Thursday the general well-being in the country despite the contraction of the Mexican economy in 2019 that was 0.1%, and said he cares "much" for the family economy.

The National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi) reported today in a preliminary estimate that Mexico's gross domestic product (GDP) contracted 0.1% in 2019, representing a substantial drop against the 2.1% growth of the last year.

"It was expected, but they are changing the parameters to measure if we have welfare in Mexico. And as I have other data, I can tell you that there is welfare. There may be no growth but there is development and there is welfare, which are different," he said López Obrador in his morning conference from Mexico City.

He said that these parameters, which already existed, became the basis, the basis for measuring development during what he calls the neoliberal period in Mexico, in the last 36 years before he came to power.

"But I don't care much because I have already repeated it: because growing can mean that there is more money in a few hands," he said.

He accused that in the aforementioned Mexican neoliberal period "there was not even growth and what little there was accumulated in a few hands, so it is very important that there is a better income distribution and that the benefits reach everyone."

The president said he felt calm "because below there is more purchasing power, there is no consumption crisis (...)".

"I care a lot about the family economy," López Obrador said and recalled that "there are currently more dispersion of resources for poor people, now they have the possibility to eat better."

The López Obrador Government has implemented a series of social programs for low-income people, students and older adults.

López Obrador began his term in December 2018, promising that the country would grow by 4% on an annual average during his six-year term, which will culminate in 2024.

However, during 2019, the discourse changed as the forecasts fell, and ended up stating that welfare and redistribution of wealth are more important than growth itself.

The 2019 GDP reduction occurred due to the fall in secondary activities (1.7%) and despite the advances in the primary (1.9%) and tertiary (0.5%) sectors, compared to the previous year and in original figures, the Inegi said Thursday in a statement.

The GDP of the largest Latin American economy after Brazil increased 2.1% in 2018 and in 2017, lower than the 2.9% recorded in 2016 and 2.6% in 2015.

For the last three months of 2019, the Inegi estimates a zero growth of 0% compared to the previous quarter, with seasonally adjusted figures.

The annual decrease of 0.1% was adjusted to the forecasts of official and expert institutions for 2019.

In its latest forecast, the Bank of Mexico predicted a growth of Mexico between a range of -0.2% and 0.2% for 2019.

The Mexican president anticipated that in the future "there will be growth" and that is why he recently joined a cabinet to promote economic growth.

For this 2020, private sector analysts consulted by the Bank of Mexico forecast a growth of 1.08%, while the World Bank expects an increase of 1.2% as investments rebound.


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