Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Photo: presidencia.gob.mx

XINHUA

Mexico could return to “economic normality” by the end of June, with employment at the levels registered before the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (covid-19), Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) said on Friday, March 5.

Before the pandemic broke out in the country in February 2020, the number of workers registered with the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) was over 20.5 million, a figure that could be recovered by mid-year, the president said during his usual daily press conference.

According to Lopez Obrador, Mexico lost 1.1 million jobs due to covid-19, after lockdown measures brought several economic sectors to a standstill, but in recent months some 600,000 jobs have been recovered.

“We believe that. by the middle of the year. we will have 20.5 million formal jobs again,” AMLO told reporters at the National Palace in Mexico City.

“I maintain that by June, by the end of that month, we will already be in economic normality. We are going to have greater growth and recovery in industrial activity, especially in tourism, which was very hard hit.”

Economic recovery is expected to go hand-in-hand with a decline in covid numbers and progress in vaccinating the population, he said.

Lopez Obrador said he hopes to have everyone over 60 years of age, about 15 million people, vaccinated against covid-19 by April, as part of a gradual inoculation strategy that began at the end of December 2020.

Mexico has the world’s third-highest covid-19 death toll, after the United States and Brazil, with 188,866 deaths from the disease as of March 5.

Some 2.1 million Mexicans have tested positive for the virus, although the real figures are believed to be at least four times that number since testing is not common.

Mexico’s economy, the second-largest in Latin America after Brazil, contracted 8.2 percent in 2020, its worst performance since the 1930s, as a result of the pandemic.

It also contracted in 2019, AMLO’s first full year in office, before the covid pandemic struck.

The economy is expected to grow 4.8 percent in 2021, according to the Central Bank of Mexico (Banxico), but many outside analysts say that figure is overly optimistic.

…March 8, 2021

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