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bandera México México: Economía y Política

In this page: Economic Outline | Political Outline


Economic Outline

Economic Overview

Mexico is the 14th largest economy in the world and second largest economy in Latin America. Because of the economy's vulnerability to external shocks, especially to the state of the U.S. economy, the Mexican growth slowed down in 2012 (3.3%) and again in 2013 (1.2%), contrary to all predictions. According to the authorities, the crisis should only be temporary and growth should reach around 3-4% in 2014.

The year 2013 was the most difficult for the Mexican economy since 2009. Due to the weak recovery of the US economy, the Mexican trading deficit deepened sharply and remittances from Mexicans living in the US dropped by 5%, despite being the country's second largest source of foreign currency. The reduction in public spending has also been an impediment to growth. The country also suffered damaged caused by two large hurricanes. Teh country has a number of advantages: foreign investment has been booming, its public finances are healthy, state debt is contained, infaltion is stable and the banking system is solid. The discovery of new gas fields has opened new possibilities for the country and a hope to turn away from nuclear energy. The 2014 budget  The banking system is sound, and through a policy of budgetary and fiscal restraint, public debt has been contained at less than 40% of GDP and economic stability has been maintained. The discovery of gas fields in the country opens up and makes possible the withdrawal from nuclear energy. The 2014 budget is expansionist and plans on having the highest budget deficit (1.5% of the GDP) since the 2009 recession. It gives priority to infrastructures, education adn public safety and aims to encourage growth, job creation and improve the social situation. A tax increase is planned to finance unemployment insurance and pensions; the state monopoly on oil should be abandoned. A new strategy to fight against organised crime has also been adopted, since violence is hampering development.

Less than 5% unemployment is foreseen for 2014, but the informal sector is very large. Inequalities have increased, in terms of income but also in terms of exposure to natural disasters. More than 46.% of residents are poor. Insecurity related to crimes committed by drug cartels is a major problem.

Main Indicators 20102011201220132014 (e)
GDP (billions USD) 1,046.711,160.731,177.40e1,327.02e1,395.56
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change)
GDP per Capita (USD) 9,15810,03410,059e11,224e11,687
General Government Balance (in % of GDP) -3.3-3.0-3.2e-3.0e-3.1
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP) 42.443.643.5e44.0e45.8
Inflation Rate (%)
Unemployment Rate (% of the Labor Force)
Current Account (billions USD) -3.23-11.84-14.18e-17.75e-20.65
Current Account (in % of GDP) -0.3-1.0-1.2e-1.3e-1.5

Source: IMF - World Economic Outlook Database - Last Available Data.

Note: (e) Estimated Data


Main Sectors of Industry

Agriculture accounts for approximately 4% of the GDP and employs 13% of the active population, however, the scarcity of credit continues to penalize this sector. Mexico ranks amongst the world's largest producers of coffee, sugar, corn, oranges, avocadoes and limes. It is also the world's 5th biggest producer of beer and its number two exporter. It is amongst the world's leading producers of many minerals, including silver, fluorite, zinc and mercury, and its oil and gas reserves are one of its most precious possessions: Mexico is the world’s fifth largest producer of oil. The oil company PEMEX is the second most powerful company in Latin America, according to the industry journal América Economía. Cattle farming and fishing are also important economic activities.

The aerospace sector has grown sharply in the last five years, due to the presences of almost 190 companies, such as Bombardier, Goodrich, the Safran group and Honeywell, which together employ 30 000 people. Mexico is also one of the 10th major car producers. The hi-tech, information and software development sectors are also experiencing a real momentum, driven by the quality of the workforce, clusters and low operating costs, which allow for the establishment of call centers.

The tertiary sector contributes to around 60% of the GDP and the construction sector has been coming up since 2010 due to significant real estate investments.

Breakdown of Economic Activity By Sector Agriculture Industry Services
Employment By Sector (in % of Total Employment) 13.4 24.1 61.9
Value Added (in % of GDP) 3.6 35.7 60.7
Value Added (Annual % Change) 6.6 2.8 4.2

Source: World Bank - Last Available Data.


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Indicator of Economic Freedom


The Economic freedom index measure ten components of economic freedom, grouped into four broad categories or pillars of economic freedom: Rule of Law (property rights, freedom from corruption); Limited Government (fiscal freedom, government spending); Regulatory Efficiency (business freedom, labor freedom, monetary freedom); and Open Markets (trade freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom). Each of the freedoms within these four broad categories is individually scored on a scale of 0 to 100. A country’s overall economic freedom score is a simple average of its scores on the 10 individual freedoms.

Moderately Free
World Rank:
Regional Rank:

Distribution of Economic freedom in the world
Source: 2014 Index of Economic freedom, Heritage Foundation


Business environment ranking


The business rankings model measures the quality or attractiveness of the business environment in the 82 countries covered by The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Country Forecast reports. It examines ten separate criteria or categories, covering the political environment, the macroeconomic environment, market opportunities, policy towards free enterprise and competition, policy towards foreign investment, foreign trade and exchange controls, taxes, financing, the labour market and infrastructure.

World Rank:

Source: The Economist - Business Environment Rankings 2014-2018


Country Risk

See the country risk analysis provided by Coface.


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Political Outline

Type of State
Mexico's official name is Mexican United States. It is a federal republic based on presidential democracy.
Executive Power
As established by the Constitution, the Executive power is headed by the President of the United Mexican States.
The President is both head of state and head of government.  He is Supreme Commander of the Army Force.
The President is elected by popular vote and cannot be reelected. The presidential term lasts six years.
Legislative Power
The Mexican legislative power is in the hands of the General Congress  which is divided in two chambers: the Deputies and the Senators.
The Chamber of Deputies has 500 members, from which 300 are elected according to the principle of plurality. The remaining 200 are elected through the rule of proportional representation.
The Chamber of Senators applies in the same manner the principle of proportional representation by integration, electing 32 of its 96 members every two years.
Main Political Parties
Mexico has a multi-party system. There are three major political parties in the country:
- PAN (National Action Party) – a conservative liberal party.
- PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party) - the oldest political party in the country, it governed for 70 years, it is the center or middle party.
- PRD (Party of the Democratic Revolution)- a left wing socialist party.
Current Political Leaders
President: Enrique Peña Nieto (since 1st december 2012) - PRI
Next Election Dates
Presidential: July 2018
Senate: 2018
Chamber of Deputies: 2015

Indicator of Freedom of the Press


The world rankings, published annually, measures the violations of press freedom worldwide. It reflects the degree of freedom enjoyed by journalists, the media and digital citizens of each country and the means used by states to respect and uphold this freedom. Finally, a note and a position are assigned to each country. To compile this index, Reporters Without Borders (RWB) prepared a questionnaire sent to partner organizations,150 RWB correspondents, journalists, researchers, jurists and activists of human rights, including the main criteria - 44 in total - to assess the situation of press freedom in a given country. It includes every kind of direct attacks against journalists and digital citizens (murders, imprisonment, assault, threats, etc.) or against the media (censorship, confiscation, searches and harassment etc.).

World Rank:
1 place up compared to 2013

Source: Worldwide Press Freedom Index 2014, Reporters Without Borders


Indicator of Political Freedom


The Indicator of Political Freedom provides an annual evaluation of the state of freedom in a country as experienced by individuals. The survey measures freedom according to two broad categories: political rights and civil liberties. The ratings process is based on a checklist of 10 political rights questions (on Electoral Process, Political Pluralism and Participation, Functioning of Government) and 15 civil liberties questions (on Freedom of Expression, Belief, Associational and Organizational Rights, Rule of Law, Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights). Scores are awarded to each of these questions on a scale of 0 to 4, where a score of 0 represents the smallest degree and 4 the greatest degree of rights or liberties present. The total score awarded to the political rights and civil liberties checklist determines the political rights and civil liberties rating. Each rating of 1 through 7, with 1 representing the highest and 7 the lowest level of freedom, corresponds to a range of total scores.

Partly Free
Political Freedom:
Civil Liberties:

Map of freedom 2014
Source: Freedom House


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Last Updates: July 2014

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