MEXICO CITY – Mexico’s government has submitted Congress a balanced-budget plan for 2013 based on spending cuts and gross domestic product growth of 3.5 percent.
Finance Secretary Luis Videgaray outlined the plan after presenting it to lawmakers Friday, telling reporters it fulfills newly inaugurated President Enrique Peña Nieto’s promise not to run a deficit in 2013.
“It proposes that public indebtedness not be the engine of economic growth and that (2013) not be a year in which government liabilities increase,” Videgaray said, calling the decision necessary to “guarantee competitiveness and job creation.”
The budget is based on 3.5 percent GDP growth in 2013, a figure in line with economists’ projections and the slowdown abroad, particularly “in our neighbor to the north (the United States),” he said.
The secretary said the growth forecast takes into account the “risks that the situation in Europe implies and the fiscal situation in the United States.”
The GDP forecast represents a slight drop relative to the projection of a nearly 4 percent expansion of the Mexican economy this year.
The budget also predicts an inflation rate of 3 percent, an oil price of $84.90 per barrel and oil output of 2.6 million barrels per day in 2013.
Videgaray said it includes a “cross-cutting” crime-prevention program that will align the resources and actions of different offices in health, sports, recreation and other areas “to act in high-priority zones where decisive government action is needed.”
An austerity decree will be published Monday in the Official Gazette “that implies a thorough analysis of the entire federal public administration to detect areas of overlap that can be reduced or eliminated,” he said, adding that the goal is fulfill Peña Nieto’s pledge for the government “to do more with less.”
The budget will next be analyzed in congressional committees and is expected to approved before year’s end, legislative sources said.