2003 OECD Economic Surveys: Mexico 2003

image of OECD Economic Surveys: Mexico 2003

This 2003 edition of OECD's periodic review of Mexico's economy includes special features on structural reform and migration.

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Fostering Faster Growth

Even abstracting from recent cyclical weakness, Mexico’s underlying growth performance since the restoration of macroeconomic stability after the 1994-95 crisis has been insufficient to narrow the gap in living standards with other OECD countries.1 Structural reforms in product and financial markets have been implemented since the late 1980s and NAFTA has opened the rest of the North American market to Mexican exports over the past decade and introduced keener competition in Mexico itself. The twin policies of inflation targeting and rigorous adherence to strict fiscal targets have been rewarded by falling interest rates and insulation from financial crises in other Latin American countries. Yet, at about 4½ per cent, underlying growth remained sluggish over 1996-2000, and an extended period of cyclical slack thereafter with concomitant low investment may have lowered potential growth further. This is all the more serious in the case of a country like Mexico, where a significant proportion of households live in acute poverty, and the provision of basic health and education services is not yet assured for many others. This chapter focuses on impediments to faster growth, and identifies policies to overcome them...

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