Monday, May 20, 2024

Mexico’s economy grew nearly 3.3% in 2023, surpassing expectations

Preliminary data published on Friday indicates that Mexico’s economy grew by just under 3.3% in annual terms in 2023, a figure well above most forecasts made at the start of last year.

The national statistics agency INEGI published estimates of annual economic growth in November and December. It anticipates that final data will show GDP increased 3.1% in November and 2.6% in December.

The Mexican peso appreciated significantly against the US dollar during 2023, but is expected by experts to weaken this year. (Shutterstock)

Based on those figures, annual economic growth was 2.81% in the final quarter of last year and 3.26% across 2023, according to Gabriela Siller, director of economic analysis at Mexican bank Banco Base.

She noted on the X social media platform that data on growth in the final months of last year could be modified later this month and thus the 3.26% estimate is not definitive. Still, it is likely to be pretty close to the mark.

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) predicted in November that the Mexican economy would grow 3.4% in 2023, while the International Monetary Fund (IMF) made a 3.2% forecast in October.

Forecasts made in early 2023 were much lower. The OECD predicted last March that GDP would expand 1.8% in 2023, while the World Bank made a forecast of just 0.9% growth last January.

The consensus forecast of 30 banks, brokerages and other financial organizations surveyed by Citibanamex early last year expected only 0.9% growth for the Mexican economy in 2023.

Exports and investment in Mexico — both from abroad and within the country — spurred the economy last year. The latter, which includes government spending on infrastructure projects, was a particular boon for Mexico’s construction industry in 2023.

Record remittances — Mexicans living and working abroad sent almost US $58 billion to Mexico in the first 11 months of 2023 — and low unemployment supported strong private consumption last year, while tourist numbers surged above pre-pandemic levels.

The levels of GDP growth recorded last year allowed Mexico to pass South Korea and Australia to become the 12th largest economy in the world, according to the IMF.

The Washington, D.C.-based financial agency is forecasting that Mexico will pass Russia to become the 11th largest economy this year and remain in that position in 2025, 2026, 2027 and 2028.

With reports from El Universal 

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