LatinNews Daily - 19 May 2021

In brief: Working poor on the rise in Mexico

* Mexico’s national council for the evaluation of social development policy (Coneval), a government body, has released a new report which estimates the number of working poor people – individuals that are in work but whose income falls below the poverty line – has increased by 4.9m in the first quarter of the year to 50.4m. According to the Coneval report, which is based on data from the national statistics institute (Inegi), this is equivalent to 39.4% of the population and a 3.8 percentage point increase on the 35.6% working poor registered in the first quarter of 2020. The report identifies rising inflation, particularly in the price of food, as the main factor that led to a 4.8% year-on-year fall in real salaries in the first quarter, which it says explains the increase in the working poor rate. Coneval warns that this real fall in salaries is also increasing economic inequality with Mexico’s Gini coefficient rising from 0.49 to 0.51 during this period.