By RICARDO CASTILLO
AMLO to Issue Economic Forecast
On Sunday, April 5, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) will issue a revamped economic forecast for year 2020.
In the case of the previous forecast, all figures have been toppled by the financial ravages provoked by the Covid-19 pandemic and the global oil market pricing havoc.
Regarding the previous forecast, there has been deep disagreement between AMLO and a pre-criteria economic policy issued on Wednesday, April 1, by the nation’s Treasury Secretariat (Hacienda), in which Hacienda foresaw a drop in the gross domestic product from anywhere between 0.1 to 3.99 percent.
AMLO said he disagrees with those estimates, but did, on Thursday, April 2, not issue any new ones.
So all eyes are now fixed on his extraordinary Sunday economic outlook for the years 2020-2021.
Brewery Pleads No Contest
After a meeting at the National Palace with AMLO on Tuesday, March 31, lawyers for Mexico’s largest brewing company agreed not to sue the government over the voting carried out last weekend in Mexicali, where the company was about to set up a new brewery, but was voted down by a 72 percent majority.
AMLO said that during the meeting with Constellation Brands executives, two options were considered: Either to file suit and go to court over the electoral procedure and its result, or settle in a conciliatory manner.
“They opted for the conciliatory way and that is a positive step,” AMLO said.
One possible solution is to find another more suitable place for the new brewery, particularly at a place where water-intensive usage to make beer (it takes four liters of water to make one of beer) is not a problem.
And AMLO promised to look into the finances of the lost facility with the potential of the government cushioning some of the losses as part of an amiable settlement.
Remittances in 2020
As if the Central Bank of Mexico did not already have a myriad of coronavirus-caused migraines, a new one that’s already foreseen is a sensible drop of remittances to Mexico from the millions (some say 36 million) Mexicans working abroad and sending greenbacks home.
A pre-forecast is that remittances for 2020 will drop by about 21 percent from current figures, down to about $29 billion.
The real problem, the bank said,, will be having the current upward trending curve rebound to lost ground, which may take until 2028 to recover to the record $36 billion registered during 2019.
Hospital bed manufacturer Hill-Rom México is changing overnight its staple production to transform into a ventilator manufacturer to supply the Mexican government.
This rapid change in production will not come easy.
“You can’t just torn off a switch and turn it on again,” a company spokesman said.
“But the world can’t wait for us for six months” to make the product shift in its Tijuana assembly plant.
Ventilators pump oxygen into a patient’s lungs who is suffering from acute respiratory problems as is common with coronavirus-infected victims.
According to an industry representative in Tijuana, Miguel Ángel Felix Díaz Alonso, and the demand for ventilators increased by 1000 percent in the past month.
The industry was included by the Mexican government in its recent list of companies performing “essential activities,” which kept the medical industry open for business at a time “nonessential” maquiladora assembly plants are closed along the border with the United States.
Controversial Ruiz Esparza Dead at Age 70
Former Mexican Secretary of Communications and Transportation Gerardo Ruiz Esparza (under President Enrique Peña Nieto) passed away Wednesday. April 1. at the American British Cowdray Hospital (ABC) due to a stroke.
Ruiz Esparza, a bird of many a political tempest during the Peña Nieto regime, accused of alleged numerous actions of corruption while building roads – and an unconcluded railway between Mexico City and Toluca – was on the brink of being sued by the current government administration.
Ruiz Esparza was admitted unconscious to the ABC on Monday, March 30.
He was 70 years old.