NEW YORK, April 8 (Reuters) - Mexico's economic growth could
surprise to the upside as a spillover effect of massive stimulus
in the United States, but local policies could hamper growth
down the road, an official at the International Monetary Fund
said on Thursday.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is a
"different kind of politician" that people want to box in as a
typical Latin American populist, Alejandro Werner, the IMF's
director for the Western Hemisphere, told a virtual event hosted
by S&P Global.
"I don't know how you want to qualify a populist, but at
least on the macro front he has been respectful of budget
constraints; on the trade side he has been very open to the
Mexican economy being highly integrated to the world economy,"
Werner said the Mexican government is "seriously committed"
to macroeconomic stability on the monetary, fiscal and financial
However, Werner said, Lopez Obrador has a view of the state
as a very involved actor in the economy and it could weigh on
economic growth after the positive effects of the rebound from
the COVID-19 pandemic and the $1.9 trillion U.S. stimulus have
Late last month, for instance, Lopez Obrador proposed a law
that sets out a series of measures to strengthen state influence
over the oil and gas industry.
"We're going to have high growth recovering from the COVID
crisis, and on the back of the U.S. (stimulus) spillover. But
after that is gone I think we will go back to a pretty mediocre
(growth) and that eventually will feed into the macro
stability," Werner said, adding that he didn't see the negative
effects for years down the road.
The IMF this week raised its forecast for Mexico's gross
domestic product growth in 2021 to 5.0% from a forecast of 4.3%
"But I think it can surprise on the upside, mostly given
what's going on in the U.S.," Werner said.
(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; editing by Jonathan Oatis)