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LatinNews Daily - 22 December 2020

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In brief: Mexico’s economy faces a difficult start to 2021

* The Centro de Estudios Económicos del Sector Privado (CEESP), a Mexican private sector think-tank, has warned that the country’s economy is likely to face a difficult start to 2021, and is unlikely to see any substantial recovery until the middle of the year, at the earliest. This comes after a surge in coronavirus (Covid-19) cases and deaths saw the capital Mexico City (CDMX) and parts of the surrounding Estado de México (Edomex) put under stricter controls from 18 December, which will undermine economic activity. The CEESP criticised the government led by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador for exacerbating the problem through its economic policies, with the think-tank suggesting that “the authorities would do well to consider the importance of protecting employment, as well as the viability of sources of work”. The CEESP offered particular criticism of the recent announcement of a 15% increase in the national minimum wage in 2021, which it warns will cause serious problems for the small businesses that employ 67.9% of Mexico’s working population.