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Inflation in Mexico remains relatively sticky, limiting Banxico's capacity to adopt a more dovish approach, despite the subpar economic recovery.
Banxico yesterday left its policy rate unchanged at 3%, the highest level in a decade.
While we were out, the economic news in LatAm was mostly positive. The main upside surprise came from Mexico, with the IGAE activity index--a monthly proxy for GDP--rising 2.9% year-over-year in August, up from 1.2% in July, and an average of 2.4% in Q2. A modest rebound was anticipated, but the headline was much better than we and the markets expected.
Mexican GDP plunged 17.1% quarter-on-quarter in Q2, according to the final report, close to the first estimate.
Economic and financial conditions have worsened substantially in Brazil in recent weeks, due mainly to Covid-19 and the sharp deterioration of the global economy.
Yesterday's first estimate of Q1 GDP in Mexico confirmed that growth was under severe pressure at the start of the year. GDP fell by 1.6% quarter- on-quarter, the biggest drop since mid-2009, well below market expectations and following a 0.1% drop in Q4.
Data released yesterday confirmed that the Mexican economy ended Q4 poorly; policymakers will take note.
The Brazilian labour market is slowly healing following the severe recession of 2015-16. The latest employment data, released last week, showed that the economy added 35K net jobs in August, compared to a 34K loss in August 2016.
The dovish members of Banxico's board garnered further support on Friday for prolonging the current easing monetary cycle over coming meetings.
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