Saturday, March 6, 2010

Economic Predictions

Calderón says that the Mexican economy will grow by 4 or 5 percent this year, which is more than what most analysts have been predicting. That would be great, although Calderón and co. consistently exaggerated their optimism throughout the crisis, so there's no reason to expect them to not do so through the recovery. Calderón also pointed to good signs in the labor market, although the unemployment numbers worsened in January.

Earlier this week, a study from the Tec de Monterrey indicated that eight million Mexicans descended into poverty from 2006 to 2009, six million of them in the last two years alone. The number of Mexicans living in extreme poverty jumped by 4 million as a result of the crisis as well. Calderón doesn't talk about the poverty figures so much these days (or if he does he doesn't get a lot of press for it). I don't think makes him the prototypical uncaring right-winger who doesn't care about the poor, because he used to mention Oportunidades and anti-poverty efforts more generally a lot. Rather I imagine it's because, as the Tec study shows, there's no good news for the government on that subject. But I hope that doesn't scare the government off from addressing the topic more aggressively, and not just by celebrating improved GDP figures. According to the study's author, using the rates forecast it will take five to eight years for the labor market to create jobs for all of the newly impoverished, which is a long, long time.

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