MarketWatch

Sep 1, 2001

Mexico Comes Out on Top

Brazil is not the largest economy in Latin America any more. Mexico has overtaken Brazil this year, with GDP rising to $615.3 billion. Mexico's economy has grown steadily every year 1995, when it overcome the peso crisis. The country's GDP has doubled since then in dollar terms. A strong oil price, membership in Nafta and prudent government economic policies have made the Mexican peso one of the best-performing currencies in the world. Although Mexico is in recession now, the super peso has inflated its GDP when measured in dollars. Paradoxically, Brazil is still growing, yet its dollar GDP is set for a 12% decline to $523.6 billion this year. Economists forecast expansion of about 2%-2.5% this year. A weak real is depressing its GDP in dollar terms.

The Economist magazine has pioneered the use of the price of a McDonald's...

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“The crisis has been a setback for reserve diversification."

Jan Dehn, Ashmore Investment Management