Mexico’s economy could grow as much as 5 per cent in 2021 as it recovers from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said.
In his first public appearance since contracting the virus and the subsequent quarantining, the President on Monday underscored his administration’s belief that lifting people out of poverty is good for the economy, reports Xinhua news agency.
“The most conservative (forecasts) speak of 3.5 per cent growth. I estimate that we are going to grow 5 per cent this year, that we are going to overcome the economic crisis,” Lopez Obrador said during his daily press conference.
The Mexican economy, the second largest in Latin America after Brazil, contracted 8.3 per cent in 2020, its worst performance since the 1930s, as a result of the lockdown measures to curb the pandemic.
Lopez Obrador noted that since he took office in December 2018, Mexico has not experienced abrupt devaluations of the currency and inflation has remained relatively under control, despite his administration’s push for an increase in the minimum wage.
He also hailed remittances from Mexicans living and working abroad, which injected $40.607 billion into the economy in 2020.
“We are no longer losing jobs, on the contrary, jobs were recovered in January and jobs are being recovered in February,” Lopez Obrador said at the briefing in the National Palace here.
Last year, the country lost 647,710 jobs, largely due to the pandemic, according to the records of the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS).
Mexico has so far registered 1,936,013 confirmed coronavirus cases and 166,731 deaths.