Long Weekends Kept to Support TourismBy Ricardo Guzman | Wed, 05/20/2020 - 21:18
Minister of Tourism Miguel Torruco said long weekends (known locally as puentes) are going to continue in the country. During today’s COVID-19 special briefing, Torruco explained that President Andrés Manuel López Obrador had changed his mind on this topic and now is committed to keeping them so that extended holiday weekends can support the ailing tourist sector.
He explained the Ministry of Tourism has developed international protocols along with the Ministry of Health for the reopening of tourist activities. Torruco said today he met with Deputy Minister of Health López-Gatell, ten governors, and state secretaries of tourism to detail the time line.
The Ministry of Health reported 424 new deaths from COVID-19 in Mexico since yesterday, bringing the national total to 6,090.
As of Wednesday, May 20
2,248 new cases (from yesterday)
56,594 confirmed cases nationwide
31,866 under investigation
Impact on markets (19.30 hrs)
US Dollar MX$23.18 (-1.42%)
BMV IPC 36,026.98 (0.46%)
Dow Jones 24,575.90 (1.52%)
Mexico City to remain on red light until June 15
Mexico City Head of Government Claudia Sheinbaum unveiled the plan towards a gradual return to normality in the Metropolitan Area. The red traffic light will remain unchanged until June 15 with mandatory compliance to all restrictions. Sheinbaum said that starting June, still under the red light, construction, mining, auto part manufacturing, bicycle sales and beer production will resume along their production chains. For late June and until July, with orange light, working places can restart with staggered schedules, while restaurants and hotels may reopen at 30 percent of their capacity, and 50 percent for theaters. On the yellow light, expected from July and until August, capacity in public spaces will gradually increase. The plan foresees the use of mouth masks in crowded places and mandatory hygiene protocols in public spots and working centers.
US Dollar close to the 23-peso floor
The dollar approached the 23-peso floor today as the Mexican currency made gains against the struggling greenback for the fifth consecutive day. According to Banxico the Mexican currency appreciated 1.42 percent, or 33 cents, bringing the exchange rate to MX$23.18 units. This is also its best level since March 26, when it was at MX$23.18.
GDP forecast updated
Mexico's GDP will contract 7.6 percent in 2020, according to the estimate of the last consensus of analysts consulted by Citibanamex. The most pessimistic forecast is for Valmex, with a 9.7 percent drop, while Citibanamex reaffirmed its previous 9 percent contraction projection. The most optimistic estimates are from Epicurus Investments, Invex and Barclays, with contractions of 5.8, 6 and 6.2 percent, respectively.
N95 mask factory opens
Aiming to secure the needed supplies to face the COVID-19 health emergency UNAM and Mexico City’s Government inaugurated today the N95 high-efficiency mask factory, a joint program expected to produce over 40,000 pieces per day. MX$31.5 million were invested in the project involving UNAM’s Red ECO and ATFIL. Up to 6 million pieces (approved by COFEPRIS) are expected to be produced by the end of the year.
7.9 million banking clients supported
As of May 15, 7.9 million bank customers had requested to defer credits payments for between four and six months, the Association of Banks (ABM) head Luis Niño de Rivera said. He explained that of these total, 2.7 million were credit card users, and 3.2 million from micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, or people with business activities.
Companies already working
Automotive, aerospace and mining companies are already operating with health safety protocols established by IMSS, CANACINTRA head Enoch Castellanos said. Based in Baja California, Coahuila, Chihuahua and Aguascalientes, these companies are Tier 1 and Tier 2 manufacturers.
COPARMEX warns of jobs lost
Eight jobs are being lost every minute given the COVID-19 crisis, and if the trend continues 1.3 million jobs might be lost by the end of June, COPARMEX has warned. The Mexican employers' association called to adopt measures such as solidarity salary.