Nearly half of Mexican population say economy has worsened – poll

FILE PHOTO: Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Mexico City
FILE PHOTO: A man pushes a cart while passing business closed at a market amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Mexico City, Mexico April 22, 2020. REUTERS/Gustavo Graf/File Photo

May 25, 2020

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Almost one in every two people in Mexico believes the economic situation has deteriorated during the past six months, and many expect a recovery to take more than a year, an opinion poll showed on Monday.

Key motors of the Mexican economy have stalled since the government imposed lockdown measures against the coronavirus pandemic in late March, and analysts say gross domestic product could contract by 10% or more this year.

A May 15-21 phone survey of 500 residents of Mexico by polling firm Buendia & Laredo for newspaper El Universal showed that 48% regarded the economic situation as worse than half a year ago, while another 21% felt it was “just as bad.”

Another 27% answered it was “just as good” and 3% took the view that it had improved, the survey showed, even though the economy shrank by 1.6% on the quarter during the January-March period, its biggest contraction in over a decade.

Of the 69% of respondents who took a negative view, 39% reckoned it will take between one and two years for their economic situation to improve; 9% estimated between two and three years, and a further 3% believed it would require more than three years.

Three percent expected no improvement at all, while 37% felt things would pick up in less than a year.

The remainder gave no estimate.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has vowed to improve the lot of poorer Mexicans, focusing his efforts on reducing inequality from the bottom up by means of welfare spending.

The survey showed that his approval rating, based on a broader sample of 1,000 people, had dropped by four percentage points to 58 percent in comparison to the group’s February poll.

(Reporting by Dave Graham; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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