In a recent installment of Forbes’ “Following the Money Trail” series,Mexico’s booming economy was the focus. Specifically,Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit’s comments about Mexico as a leader among the emerging markets that have contributed to some good-looking financial results recently for the bank, which is the third largest in the U.S.
“We think that Mexico is extremely well-poised for growth,” Pandit said on a conference call. “I was just there not too long ago and with the leadership change there in addition to prospects for reforms and what you are seeing on the ground – that is a high spot definitely.”
Citigroup’s stock was up 4 percent last week and the bank’s Latin-America consumer banking revenue grew 7 percent over the last year in the third quarter to hit $2.4 billion – numbers that Forbes reports were ‘Driven by Mexico.' In fact, the nation’s recovery from the recent economic crisis has been overwhelmingly strong and top government officials in Mexico are predicting that the nation’s economic growth could reach upwards of 5 percent in 2012. The predicted increase is due in part to Mexico’s increased GDP, which rose by an impressive 3.9 percent and 5.5 percent in the last two years, respectively.
Adding to Mexico’s growth,Brazil’s economy has lagged in recent months, while the Mexican stock market is performing well and Mexico real estate is providing a unique investment opportunity. The benchmark IPC index is up by close to 12 percent in 2012 and by more than 20 percent over the last year. In addition, the state-owned oil company Pemex recently announced deepwater oil discoveries in the Gulf of Mexico and Wal-Mart reported its Mexican stores increased monthly sales this September by 15.3 percent, hitting an impressive $2.59 billion. According to Forbes, Wal-Mart also opened 20 new stores in Mexico this September.
“The biggest evidence of Mexico’s success can be seen in the number of Mexicans who are staying or returning to Mexico,” writes Forbes. “As Calderon recently noted in ‘The Wall Street Journal,’ the net rate of migration of Mexican workers toward the United States has recently been zero. ‘We are in the middle of a rebirth,’ he said.”