Mexican president rejects downbeat economic forecast

Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador Jan. 16, 2019 at a press conference in Mexico City. EPA- EFE/Sáshenka Gutiérrez.

MEXICO CITY.- President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Wednesday that the Mexican economy would grow by at least 2 percent this year, more than double the estimate offered this week by Bank of America.

«My data is different. I respect those who say we won’t reach our economic growth goals, but I’m sure that we will do very well,» the leftist leader said at his daily morning press conference.

Bank of America said Tuesday that it expects Mexican gross domestic product to grow just 1 percent in 2019 as a result of the spending cuts by the government and the economic slowdown in the United States, Mexico’s No. 1 trading partner.

Responding to questions, Lopez Obrador said the Mexican economy is showing positive signs, such as the rise of the peso against the dollar.

«I only ask for seriousness from the analysts,» he said.

«I say it’s double (what Bank of America estimates). And it’s recorded,» the president said.

Mexico’s Finance Secretariat estimates GDP growth of between 1.5 percent and 2.5 percent in 2019, along with inflation of 3.4 percent and an exchange rate of 20 pesos to the dollar.

The peso was trading Wednesday at just under 19 to the dollar.

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