January 28th, 2022
1. Energy uncertainty holds back new investments
The National Council of the Maquiladora and Export Manufacturing Industry (Index) revealed that insufficient electrical energy in some states of the country has slowed industrial investments. Within the Open Parliament Electrical Reform discussion in Mexico, business interests highlighted the importance of clear rules for the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE), the National Center for Energy Control (Cenace), and the Regulatory Commission of Energy (CRE), with the aim of encouraging investment in the sector.
The president of the Index, Luis Manuel Hernández, explained that legislators and governors must ensure sufficient energy before an industry promotes new investment projects, that is, adequately supply of electricity service in areas where the CFE has active operations. The reform is still under discussion and is expected to be voted on after the local elections on June 5, 2022.
2. La inflación se desacelera en el primer trimestre
El Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (Inegi) publicó los cambios del Índice Nacional de Precios al Consumidor (INPC), el cual registró una variación anual de 7.1% en enero del 2022. El índice registró su nivel más bajo desde noviembre 2021, cuando alcanzó 7.05% a tasa anual. La inflación bajó nuevamente desde el máximo que alcanzó en noviembre con un 7.7%.
Por otro lado, el subdirector de Análisis Económico de CIBanco, James Salazar, indicó que ante una expectativa de menor crecimiento comparado con 2021, podría no cumplirse el marco macroeconómico propuesto por la Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público (SHCP). El gobierno esperaba que a finales de 2021 la economía nacional creciera un 6.3%, sin embargo, la proyección es de solo 4.1%, lo cual afectará la propia recaudación fiscal.
3. Violence against journalists in Mexico worsens
Mexico is one of the most dangerous countries in the world to be a journalist. Every year, the number of murders and assaults on reporters and investigators grows. After the murder of journalist Lourdes Maldonado the journalistic union met in 40 cities in 28 states across the country to demand security and justice following the deaths of three journalists in January.
Over the last 20 years, the country has been governed by different parties. Nevertheless, the problem of violence against journalists has not been forcefully addressed. Although there are local and federal protection programs for journalists, surveillance does not serve or protect even a small portion of the press. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reported that at least seven journalists were killed in Mexico last year, making it the riskiest country to practice the profession.
4. The digital gap challenges in Mexico
The representative of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in Europe, Fazia Pusterla, stated that Latin American countries have made progress in increasing connectivity. Chile and Mexico are the best positioned countries. However, 120 million people still lack internet access in Latin America.
The director of Global Strategy for Public Affairs of Telefónica, Trinidad Jiménez, affirmed that Latin America is ready to join the fourth industrial revolution of telecommunications. The region needs an investment of USD $70 billion to overcome its digital divide and promote 5G technology based on public-private collaborations.
5. Export growth forecast for 2022
The National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi) published the status of merchandise exports, which grew 18.5% year-on-year in 2021, with a total of USD $494,224.5 million. In addition, imports grew 32.1% at an annual rate of USD $ 505,715.6 million. Mexico had a deficit of USD $11,491.1 million in its trade balance.
Mexican exports benefited from the United States’ 2021 fiscal stimulus and the Treaty between Mexico, the United States, and Canada (USMCA). The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) forecasts that the Mexican economy will grow 3.3% in 2022 and 2.5% in 2023, after growing 5.9% in 2021.
El Economista: Exportaciones de México crecen 18.5% en 2021.