Friday, September 29, 2023


This week, INEGI will publish its new information series with the 2018 base year, which replace the ones we used until today, based on 2013. The difference does not consist simply in adjusting prices, but in re-estimating the complete economic structure. For this reason, a new input-output matrix will be published, new estimates of National Accounts, including the Institutional ones, and we will have, it seems to me, even information that did not exist with the base year 2013.

Since it is calculated with a new base, the values ​​and growths will be modified. For example, since oil became less important in those years, its impact on the economy will be reduced. In return, we will surely have an increase in the impact of manufacturing. The structure of services will also change, and we will see a lesser importance of wholesale trade, and a greater importance of retail trade, for example. In the end, the growth of the economy will surely be greater than what we have registered today, and there will be no shortage of those who complain and affirm that they are wiretapping. It is not like that, it is an update that INEGI has been carrying out with increasing frequency. We will review the new series, and we will discuss it with you.

On Friday, the Bank of Mexico published the information on the Balance of Payments, which is not directly related to the INEGI series we were talking about, but rather is measured in current dollars: all transactions between Mexico and the world, either for goods and services (current account) or for money movements (capital account). Without a doubt, there is a connection between this information and the National Accounts, which requires certain statistical adjustments that later turn out to be complicated, but I tell you that we will see about that.

Now what I think is worth noting is that in the first half of 2023 we had the lowest new foreign investment in 20 years, with the sole exception of what happened in 2014. In the first six months of the year, 2 arrived in Mexico billion dollars, nothing more. Fortunately, $22 billion of profits from foreign companies were reinvested in Mexico, so total FDI wasn’t too bad. Even so, with these data, foreign investment in Mexico during this six-year term averages just 2.7 percent of GDP each year. It is similar to what we received with Fox, and a little more than what came with Calderón, but less than the 3.1 percent of the Peña Nieto years. If we only see the new investment, this six-year term is the worst of the century. With Fox, new investment reached 1.5 percent of GDP each year, it dropped to 1.1 percent with Calderón and 1 percent with Peña Nieto. It now averages 0.9%.

The data is bad, without a doubt, but it looks worse when we remember that we are in a context of international capital rearrangement. He was supposed to nearshoring it would attract loads of dollars to Mexico, and what we see is that less is arriving than in previous years. On average since 2002, in the first half of the year, 6 billion dollars arrived in Mexico. Five thousand if we remove two atypical years. Now 2 thousand have arrived.

So now that we are reviewing the figures with the new base year, and we see that some things have been better than we thought, let’s not forget that the essence of what we will have in the future, today’s investment, is in one of its worst moments. Don’t let the absurd data from the Mayan Train or the refineries confuse us, let them not tell you that we will be reaping from the fall of China. No, what is happening is that we are wasting one of the most spectacular opportunities we have ever had. For fools.

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