Friday, November 30, 2012


Last week's Economist has a special report on Mexico, which contains a number of interesting facts supporting the idea that things are looking up down there:

  • Mexico outpaced Brazil last year and will grow twice as fast next year.
  • The fertility rate will soon be lower than the U.S.
  • Mexico exports as much as the rest of Latin America put together, and trade makes up a bigger percentage of its GDP than any other large country.
  • In 2000 it cost $0.32/hour to employ a manufacturing worker in China, compared to $1.51 in Mexico. By last year those numbers had risen to $1.63 in China and $2.10 in Mexico. Plus transportation costs are rising and distances are fixed.
  • Currently Mexico is the world's fourth biggest auto exporter, and one of the ten biggest oil producers.
  • Grisly stories aside, the country's overall murder rate is the same as Brazil and the murder rate is subsiding.
  • Since 2004, free health care has been implemented. It is now universally available and costs 6.5% of GDP, lower than what most of the rich world spends.
  • Between 1995-2000 3 million Mexicans moved to the U.S. and 700,000 returned. In 2005, these numbers were 1.4 million in each direction.
  • Payments from the U.S. to Mexico are the world's biggest stream of remittances, bringing more foreign currency into the country than tourism does.
  • Mexico has free trade agreements with 44 countries, more than any other nation.

Good governance, never a given, is the key to continued success, but it is definitely a country worth watching.

Jill Sobule, Mexican Pharmacy

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