The first three years of Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s government have been bumpy, to say the least, and there is no indication that the next three will not be.
During his first year, he made decisions such as canceling the construction of what would have been the New CDMX International Airport, which discouraged investment and contributed to bringing the economy into a recession. In 2019, GDP decreased 0.06% compared to 2018.
Then, in March 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic arrived in Mexico. In-person classes at all levels and activities in most government offices and private companies were suspended. This closure of the economy, partial because the informal sector did not stop working, lasted until June 1 when the beginning of the new normal was declared and commercial establishments and private and government offices began to open following protocols designed to prevent the spread of the virus.
Since the pandemic began until yesterday, both Andrés Manuel and the two charlatans he put in charge of the Ministry of Health tended to underestimate the problem. In April, the former claimed that the pandemic was “tamed” while its discredited undersecretary stated that the curve was almost “flattened.”
According to official figures, Mexico ranks fourth in terms of the number of deaths from Covid-19, below the United States, Brazil and India. If we add the excess deaths attributable to this disease to the officially accepted number of deaths, the lives lost since March 2020 to date are more than 730,000.
The closure of activities caused GDP to fall 8.24% last year, the number of poor people increased from 51.9 million to 55.7 million and that of those who survive in extreme poverty rose from 8.7 million to 10.8 million; that is, 66.7 million poor and very poor.
Perhaps they would be poorer if the minimum wage had not increased 60% since 2018, from 88.36 pesos to 141.70 pesos a day. An achievement of AMLO.
During 2021, GDP increased during the first two quarters, 1.0% and 1.2% respectively, but fell 0.4% in the third. Compared with the same periods of last year, the growth, the GDP has evolved as follows: -2.8%, + 19.6% and + 4.7%. And it is estimated that this year it will grow 6.0% compared to 2020.
During the first three years of the current government, GDP will have fallen 2.8%, well below the 2.0% increase registered in the first three of Enrique Peña Nieto.
It is ironic that in the face of the impoverishment of the majority of Mexicans, the decrease in foreign direct investment and the massive flight of capital, the government of the 4T, supposedly from the left, boasts certain achievements that would make the neoliberals proud, who are so vilified by AMLO.
For example, from November 2018 to date, international reserves increased 14.7%, and the interbank interest rate fell from 8.0% to 5.0 percent.
Economically, the next three years of the current government will not be much different from those that have already passed, but things could become more complicated if inflation does not subside and the president persists in driving investors away without thinking about those who need work.
Facebook: Eduardo J Ruiz-Healy
Journalist and producer
Opinioner, columnist, lecturer, media trainer, 35 years of experience in the media, micro-entrepreneur.