Guillermo Ortíz is not a popular man, not that he cares
much. For the thick-skinned Ortíz, governor of Mexico's
central bank and hardline inflation hawk, his victory last year
when he got inflation under his 2001 and 2002 targets, was
particularly sweet. Although the business community, especially
exporters, revile him for pushing up the value of the peso,
Ortíz's war against inflation was one important reason
for Standard&Poor's decision in February to finally raise
Mexico to investment-grade status, nearly a year after Moody's
had first taken the plunge.
Mexico posted its fourth consecutive year of declining
inflation in 2001. At 4.4%, last year's inflation rate came in
below the Central Bank's 6.5% target and below its 2002 target
of 4.5%. This puts Mexico well on track to meet its 2003 goal
of cutting inflation to the same level as the US, its largest
trading partner. Ortíz says,...
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