March 27, 2020
1. Mexico declares coronavirus epidemic phase 2
After the Ministry of Health reported the registration of local SARS-CoV-2 cases, the Undersecretary of Health, Hugo López-Gatell, declared the beginning of phase 2 of the pandemic on March 26th. Mexico has registered 585 confirmed cases, 2,965 cases under review and 8 deaths.
The Mexican Government called for strengthening prevention measures including hand washing, etiquette rules for sneezing, in addition to social isolation. As part of the National Campaign of Healthy Distance, the government will suspend non-essential activities from through April 19th. In Mexico City, local authorities ordered the closure of bars, restaurants, cinemas, gyms, museums, among other establishments.
El Universal: México entra a fase 2 por coronavirus
2. Andrés Manuel López Obrador participates in virtual G20 summit
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador participated in a virtual G20 summit which was convened to address the treatment of the SARS-CoV-2 virus pandemic and coordinate efforts to mitigate the impacts of the disease on global markets.
President López Obrador asked the UN to regulate the sale of medicines and medical equipment during the Covid-19 pandemic, as there is shortage and hoarding on the part of those with more purchasing power. López Obrador also called for a truce to prevent the closure of borders, the imposition of tariff policies, the use of oil prices, as well as preventing the formation of monopolies and financial speculation.
3. Mexico Bank Association will freeze charges for four months
The Association of Banks of Mexico recognized the economic impact that the coronavirus pandemic will have and presented a series of measures to support customers to the National Banking and Securities Commission. Notably, one policy includes a two to four month deferment for credit payments, with the possibility for extension up to six months.
For agricultural credits, appropriations will be in place of FIRA’s Permanent Program for Natural Disaster-Affected Zone Support, which provides for the use of extensions, credit restructurings, re-alignment, among other facilities.
4. Private sector accuses president of “destroying investment confidence”
Carlos Salazar Lomelín, President of the Business Coordinating Council (CCE), considered that the President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, is “committed to destroying investor confidence,” after the construction of Constellation Brands’ brewing plant in Mexicali, Baja California was canceled following a referendum.
The brewery’s cancellation, which was 60% complete and gathered investments of USD $1.5 billion came after the results of a referendum organized by the Undersecretariat for Democratic Development, Social Participation. 73% of the participants voted to stop the construction. Representatives of the private sector stated that the referendum was not a procedure stipulated in the constitution and was illegitimate.
5. Moody’s forecasts 3.7% fall in Mexican economy
The rating agency Moody’s Investor Service adjusted its growth forecasts for the Mexican economy, projecting a contraction of 3.7% in 2020 and a recovery of 0.9% for 2021.
Moody’s detailed that the downward revision of economic forecasting comes as a result of the economic costs of coronavirus that will cause a “shock” in the global economy for the first half of the year, a period for which the rating agency anticipates that the Mexican economy will suffer a contraction of 5.2%.