In his fourth report to the Nation, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador once again disdained the importance of economic growth.
He assured that even without economic growth, his government is managing to reduce poverty and inequality.
The context of such presidential statements are: a deep economic contraction of -8.4%, in 2020 and another of -0.14%, prior to the outbreak of Covid-19 in Mexico, registered in June 2019, with which 120 months were broken consecutive years of economic expansion.
And the forecast of most unofficial analysts is that this will be a six-year period of lost economic growth.
Just yesterday, Carlos Morales, director of sovereign risk for Latin America at the rating agency Fitch, predicted that Mexico will have zero growth between 2020 and 2023.
The President of Mexico said that his government has discarded the technocratic obsession of measuring everything based on growth indicators that do not necessarily reflect social realities.
Faced with a scenario in which most economic analysts agree that this will be a six-year period of lost economic growth, the Chief Executive said that the ultimate goal of a State is to create the conditions for people to live happily. Economic growth and increases in productivity and competitiveness do not make sense as an objective in themselves, he asserted, but rather as means to achieve a higher purpose; the general welfare of the population.
Then he repeated some of the data that he has been mentioning daily in his morning conferences with which, from his perspective, he demonstrates that a better distribution of wealth has been achieved.
From the 623 thousand 330 additional workers registered in the IMSS; the fact that the rich today earn 16 and not 18 times more than the poor and that the latter were the only ones who saw their income grow by 1.3%; the social programs and the increases that older adults have had in their income.
Even those that he always repeats: that the peso has not been devalued and that important flows of foreign investment are arriving.
Beyond simple economic growth, he said, the fundamental thing is to banish corruption and privileges to allocate what is saved to benefit the poorest.
However, there are other data.
An analysis of Mexico How We Go points out that the supposed reduction in the wealth of the richest is not synonymous with a decrease in the prevailing social inequality in the country.
On the other hand, it highlights that the current federal social policy is insufficient. In 2020 -warns the plural group of researchers-, only 37% of the poorest households were beneficiaries of social programs, a considerable decrease compared to what was observed in 2018 where the scope was 56%.
Another relevant fact is that currently, the GDP per capita in Mexico is at 2014 levels, which means eight years of decline.
Under the analysis of employment indicators, informality, working poverty and the effect of inflation on the income of those who have the least, everything indicates that the exact opposite of what the presidential speech says is happening.
There is no economic growth, nor better distribution of wealth and spending on flagship works, plus social programs, are putting public finances in growing difficulties.
The positive part of the presidential report is that it ratified the importance of the T-MEC, and the signal it sends of a good relationship with President Joe Biden.
But we will have to see what the President of Mexico says next September 16 when he will establish his government’s position regarding the consultations on energy matters requested by the governments of the United States and Canada.
It is a very thorny issue and has provoked very strong statements from President López Obrador who even described the requests of his counterparts as nonsense.
At the time
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