A few years ago, we posted in this space about a visit to Baja California Sur, one of Mexico’s most remote states. We love Baja California and Baja California Sur and had the good fortune to visit the southern tip of the peninsula again recently for a couple weeks, and we are happy to report that Baja is still great. After nearly two years of COVID-19 pandemic, our previous visit seems long ago and far away, and the travel industry has taken a beating in recent times. But people need to work and get on with their lives, so we were happy to see that folks were doing just that and it appears that Baja California Sur is actually prospering against all odds. Here are a few thoughts on what we observed in August and September of 2021. Continue reading Baja California is still great
Mexico has suffered something of a setback in its emergence from the COVID-19 pandemic over the past month. On the epidemiological traffic light system, Mexico City had reached green, or mild restrictions, as the beginning of the month only to return to the higher restrictions of the yellow level following the June 6 national elections. The number of states at the orange or significant restriction level rose from one to five during the month, with reported increases in COVID cases particularly in tourist zones such as the Riviera Maya (Cancun), Yucatan and Baja California. No PCR test or quarantine is required to enter Mexico for travelers arriving by air.
ECONOMY AND INDUSTRY
- Same-store retail sales jumped 33.9% in May with respect to the same month last year, the National Retailers Association (ANTAD) reported. The size of the increase is due largely to the plunge in sales in May 2020 resulting from the initial COVID-19 lockdowns. (Reforma, June 11, 2021)
- Mexico’s central bank Banco de México (Banxico) raised its projection of GDP growth to 6.0% for the current year, up from a previous estimate of 4.8%. The improved outlook is based on advances in COVID-19 vaccination, strong demand for exports and better than expected first quarter growth. (Citibanamex Reporte Económico Diario, June 3, 2021)
- Remittances to Mexico from abroad through the first four months of the year are running 19.1% ahead of the same period last year, central bank Banco de México (Banxico) reported. Remittances are on track to post their strongest annual growth since 2005. (Milenio, June 1, 2021)
At the start of each month we usually post examples of new investment in Mexican industry, such as announcements of new manufacturing or processing plants and expansion of existing ones. For April 2020, we are disappointed to report that we have no such examples to share, due to the COVID-19 economic shutdown. We imagine that some companies are taking advantage of mandatory plant closures to clean, reorganize or upgrade their facilities, but we have not read about these so we are just going to have to accept our first shutout in the 11 years we have had the privilege of publishing this investment list. As with so many repercussions of COVID-19, you think you’ve seen it all, but it turns out you haven’t.
The media have done an admirable job covering the crisis, but for those of you who don’t follow Mexico closely, here is a very cursory summary of approximately where we are at the start of May 2020: Continue reading No new investment this month