Sumary of Mexico’s middle class is struggling:
- Jul 24th 2021Mexico CityFIFTEEN YEARS ago Maria, a school secretary, and her husband Samuel, a technician at an electronics firm, had just bought a car when they found out she was pregnant.
- “My children used to ask me if we are poor and I would say ‘No, we have food, a roof over our heads, clothes, and we are moving ahead’,” says Maria.
- Incomes have risen—Maria and Samuel bring in around 20,000 pesos ($1,000) a month, an increase of more than 50% in real terms since they first got together 16 years ago.
- But recently the middle class, long neglected by politicians, has had two setbacks, thanks to covid-19 and the policies of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
- The most immediate threat is covid-19. The World Bank reckons that, by its measures, last year a net 4.7m Latin Americans fell out of the middle class.
- ) Mr López Obrador’s fiscal hawkishness, sensible in good times, appears to have been a liability.
- By contrast, handouts in Brazil were so generous that the World Bank says they reduced by 12m the number of people falling out of the middle class.
- Neither she nor her company received extra handouts last year.