Mexico economy minister sees 2022 growth slowing to 2.5%

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican Economy Minister Tatiana Clouthier said on Monday the country’s economy was likely to grow about 2.5% this year after being hit by the Omicron wave of the coronavirus pandemic, in a blow to President Andres Manuel Lopez.

Mexico’s economy contracted for a second straight quarter in the last three-month period of 2021, putting it in a technical recession and confirming growth had lost momentum.

Overall the economy expanded 5.0% for full-year 2021 after shrinking 8.5% in 2020 in Mexico’s worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Clouthier said the Finance Ministry was forecasting growth around 4% for this year but this has taken a hit due to the Omicron wave.

“Now we estimate that we could (grow) around 2.5% to 2.6%,” Clouthier told Aristegui Noticias radio station.

Mexico’s president earlier this month estimated 5% growth in 2022 but 11 analysts polled by Reuters last month forecast growth of 1.9%.

(Reporting by Raul Cortes Fernandez; Writing by Drazen Jorgic; Editing by Richard Chang)