AMLO rejects that Mexico is in an economic recession

Andrés Manuel López Obrador, President of Mexico.

Photo: Hector Vivas/Getty Images

The President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, denied that the country is in recession despite the contraction of the last two quarters which left economic growth at 4.8% for 2021, below the 6% expected by the Government.

“The economy is growing, there can be no recession if in the month of January, this month, it is one of the months in which more employment was created in the last 20 years. What recession?”, declared the president in his daily press conference.

His statements come after revealed that the gross domestic product (GDP) of Mexico grew 4.8% in 2021, according to preliminary original figures from the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi).

Economists have warned of a "technical recession" because Mexico decreased by 0.1% quarterly between October and December, which adds to the fall of 0.4% from July to September, thus spinning two negative quarters.

But López Obrador assured that “his formula does not apply” because, according to him, Mexico had a growth trend until the appearance of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

“I am satisfied because it continues to grow. We are coming out of the crisis, fortunately we already have indicators that the new variant of covid is losing strength because that is what prevented us from reaching 6% growth, "said the president.

Although the private sector expects a growth of 2.27% by 2022, as revealed on Tuesday by the Bank of Mexico (Banxico) survey, the president asserted that the economy will grow 5% this year, in 2023 and 2024.

Although he later clarified that his goal is to achieve an average annual growth of 2% throughout his six-year term. “I have information and I am also optimistic, I want it to go well for us”he stated.

On the other hand, the president asked that "the growth data should not only be seen" because his government "has to also think about well-being."

The president criticized that during the 36 years of what he calls the "neoliberal period" there was economic growth, but with inequality, according to graphs from the World Bank and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) that he exhibited at his conference.

Now also change that technocratic approach that does not necessarily have to do with the well-being of the peoplewith the welfare of the people”, he commented.

He also defended his management of the pandemic in Mexico, which has accumulated almost 5 million cases and nearly 307,000 deaths from COVID-19, the fifth highest figure in the world in absolute numbers. The president assured that Mexico ranks ninth in the world in applied vaccines and 24th in deaths per capita.

It may be that due to COVID we have less growth, but more equality. Now it is reaching more of the poor than before. We are living in a country that is less unequal than when neoliberal policies were applied, but we are also growing,” he stated.

With information from Eph.

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