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LatinNews Daily - 19 March 2021

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In brief: Mexico’s López Obrador calls for prudence over the economy

* Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has said that Mexico’s economy, which shrank 8.2% last year due to the impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, was doing “very well”. Speaking in his morning press conference yesterday (18 March) he called however for “prudence”, adding that due to “external issues”, the possibility cannot be ruled out of a “new economic crisis…we should be prepared”. Earlier this week the president of Mexico’s central bank (Banxico), Alejandro Díaz de León Carrillo recalled that Banxico currently expects Mexico’s economy to grow 4.8% this year and 3.3% in 2022, welcoming the government’s plan to speed up vaccination against Covid-19 as positive for the country’s economic recovery. This is likely to receive a further boost with the announcement yesterday by the US and Mexican governments of an agreement whereby the US would loan 2.5m doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine to Mexico. In a press briefing yesterday White House press secretary, Jen Psaki said that the agreement “is not fully finalized yet, but that is our aim”. The US administration had previously turned down calls by President López Obrador to share its supply of vaccines against Covid-19 with Mexico.