Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is getting even more difficult economic news just months into his leadership. On the heels of last months shrinking gross domestic product, July saw more bad news in the way of a less-than-stellar employment report.
In fact, according to the Mexico Daily News, the Central-American country saw job creation at the lowest its been since 2009, along with the biggest jobs decline since 2010. Overall, there was a net loss of 14,000 jobs, according to information from the Mexican Social Security Institute. Notably, this is the first decline in employment numbers since President Lopez Obrador took power in December on a platform of fixing poor economic growth and job creation, according to Reuters.
In terms of a breakdown of the job loss, there were added roles in agriculture and communications for the month. However, the construction and mining sectors saw declines of 2.1% and 3.3% respectively to lead to the net loss in new jobs for the country, according to the report.
Notably, this news comes just as economists downgraded the country’s economic outlook, according to the Reuters report. “The weak Q1 GDP figure means the economy won’t, barring a major surprise, grow by the 2.5% that we had projected ... The next few years will be underwhelming for Mexico’s economy,” said William Jackson, Chief Emerging Markets Economist at Capital Economics, in an interview with the news service.
Meanwhile, others called out the region for its recent economic woes. “March was a very bad month for economic activity, clocking a 0.6% contraction,” Mexican central bank board member Jonathan Heath said on Twitter, according to Reuters.
Lopez Obrador, however, pushed aside concerns about the economy in a press conference when the economic outlook was announced earlier in July. “Investment is growing, I said it yesterday, our currency is strong, it is appreciating more than other currencies around the globe and inflation is stable. And there will be growth, much more growth. So we’re going to wait,” said Lopez Obrador in the press conference.
Notably, Reuters pointed out that not all is bleak for Mexico’s government. For instance, the country “received some $10 billion in foreign direct investment in the first quarter, up 7% from the same quarter last year.” Meanwhile, inflation was lower than expected in May and the peso appreciated about 6% since Lopez Obrador took office, according to the publication.
On July 17, meanwhile, President Lopez Obrador called for the “ratification” of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which he said was important for the region’s economic growth, according to a separate Reuters report. While the deal achieved approval by Mexico’s government, it’s still awaiting approvals by both the U.S. and Canada to go into effect, according to the report.