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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Keys to Mexico’s Economic Ascent

Mexico ¿cómo vamos?” is a new website meant to track Mexico’s economic rise. Feel free to take a gander at

The site is a creation of two of Mexico’s leading think tanks, and it draws on insights from 60 leading economists and policymakers, including the likes of Dr. Guillermo Ortiz, Dr. Luis de la Calle, and Dr. Jonathan Heath. A medley of interactive graphs and polls attend op-ed articles, making the site a wonk’s delight. (The question of the day: Can Mexico create one million formal sector jobs this year? ‘Unsure’ is just nudging out ‘agree’ as the most frequent choice among respondents.) The major drawback: so far it’s in Spanish only. 

This is just one more vignette in what has become a perceptible, though hardly dominant, trend in the world of global economic analysis in 2012: Mexico has an awfully bright future. Perhaps the most bullish prediction came from Nomura Securities earlier this year, when it forecast that Mexico’s economy would be larger than Brazil’s by 2022. A more conservative IMF forecast has Mexico’s economy eclipsing Brazil’s in 2028 or 2029. 

President Felipe Calderon, who will leave office on December 1, recently spoke to an audience at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C., about Mexico’s underlying economic strengths. He went on to tick off infrastructure gains, including new roads and universities, and Mexico’s doubling down on free trade, as evidenced by its recent entrance into negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Among the many factoids and macroeconomic indicators, this fact stood out to me: Mexico exports more manufactured goods than the rest of Latin America, including Brazil, combined. 

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