Mexico shows clear signs of recovery: president

08:21, March 23, 2010      

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Mexico has settled into a pattern of growth that is attracting both tourism and investment to the nation, Mexico's President Felipe Calderon told the Inter American Development Bank (IADB) conference on Monday.

"There are clear signs of economic recovery. A year ago, the most optimistic forecast for 2010 growth was for 1.2 percent. Now most of them are around 4 percent and some have even reached five percent," he said from resort city Cancun on Mexico's Caribbean coast. "Despite the depth of the financial crisis, Mexico's banks did not need a single cent from the government," he added.

Mexico suffered a severe economic contraction in 2009, with the economy declining by 10.3 percent at its worst point during the second quarter when the country was also the epicenter of the A( H1N1) flu outbreak. The disease also frightened away tourists, who sustain the economy in cities resorts like Cancun.

"Last weekend hotel occupation rates were 85 percent, a big difference to the 20 percent seen the days after the influenza outbreak," said the president during his inaugural address to the conference.

He also said that Mexican international reserves were at record levels of 95 billion U.S. dollars and that inflation remained comparatively low at 3.7 percent, an achievement for the nation's central bank given that the Mexican peso lost a quarter of its value during 2009.

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