Lately, just about everything seems to be going wrong for Mexico:
- It started with collapsing oil revenues. Not only did the oil price collapse (an event that will probably be temporary), but much more worryingly, oilfield output is declining at ever steeper rates.
- Exports to the US have fallen sharply, and workers' homeward remittances are also dropping.
- American multinationals have slashed their investment budgets, and are repatriating as many profits as they can to strengthen their balance-sheets.
- Escalating gang warfare among drug traffickers has claimed 6,200 lives last year, and some cities (most notably Ciudad Juarez, across the Rio Grande from El Paso, where 1,800 people have been killed since January 2008) are so unsafe that thousands of troups have been moved in, and nobody dares to venture outdoors after nightfall.
- And if all this wasn't already enough, swine flu shut down Mexico City for several weeks, and has caused the country's tourism industry to collapse. As of late May, occupancy rates in major tourist destinations are still down by more than half compared to last year, even though prices have been slashed by 50 % and more.
Latest forecasts now project 2009 GDP to drop by 8.5 %.
Edit: According to latest news, the US now insists that US citizens travelling to and from Mexico carry a passport. This is expected to deal a further blow to the economies of border towns such as Ciudad Juarez, as most Americans don't even have a passport.
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