Newsletter February 01/2019 – Highlights on Presidency

1. After official cancellation of Mexico´s biggest infrastructure project, a new airport for Mexico City, President Lopez Obrador announced launching others important projects in southern Mexico, (i) construction of a refinery in his home state of Tabasco, and (ii) a tourist train called the Maya train.

2. On December 15th, President Lopez Obrador presented the Budget for 2019, which seeks to make the economy more self-sufficient, reduce  corruption and crime and support the poor.

3. The finance minister set a target for a primary surplus (i.e. before interest payments) of 1% of GDP after an expected 0.8% for this year 2019*. Although President Lopez Obrador has suggested that preventing corruption would result in massive savings, Budget does not rely on that promise, making
necessary for him to take hard decisions (reduced his plans for higher social spending).

4. President Lopez Obrador planned to spend about 0.5% of GDP*, on scholarships for the young, additional economic supports will be targeted for a universal pension for elder people.

5. President Lopez Obrador’ s promise, of cutting salaries of senior officials will be stopped, due to a ruling of México´s supreme court, which suspends a law that cuts the salaries of senior officials (including judges), arguing such law violates public employees´ rights.

6. Since December and most part of January, an important shortage on gasoline affected at least 8 States of Central Mexico. President Lopez Obrador explained that, the reason of such measure was to prevent robbery of gasoline by criminal groups. Although important affectations, an important sector of the population and main private commercial associations backed up President’s decision, since for the first time in many years, somebody is doing something against crime.

7. President Lopez Obrador also officially cancelled two important promotion entities, ProMexico and the Mexico Tourist Promotion Council arguing reduction of excessive operation expenses. Offices from both entities in Mexico and abroad have been already closed. President Lopez Obrador, announced that activities performed by these entities will be taken now by the Mexican embassies and consulates.

*The Economist