Mexico GDP 2004
Per capita GDP was estimated to be just over $ 6,000 in 2004, just one sixth of the average income in the neighboring United States, but quite high compared to those of Latin American countries. There is, moreover, a persistent contrast between the wealth of the central-northern regions, better equipped in terms of infrastructures and industrial and tertiary activities, and the southern ones, mostly agricultural and forestry. Even more marked are the imbalances in the social distribution of resources, given that 40 % of the population is below the poverty level and that would be as much as 25 millions who have less than a dollar a day. Growth in Mexican GDP, recently estimated at around 3 % per annum, has received impetus from the policy of international opening, implemented since the 1990s with the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with the States. United States and Canada (1994) and with extensive privatization programs in the energy and service sectors (primarily telecommunications and transport). While the large-scale introduction of private capital has frequently led to effective upgrades and innovations, in certain branches of delicate social interest (such as the distribution of water) it has aroused strong tensions, especially due to the introduction of unsustainable market rates. for contexts of extreme misery. The structure of the economy remains marked by a widespread mix of modern activities and backward production practices, with a significant share of livelihood (40 %) still drawn from the domain of the informal. Indeed, although the official level of unemployment is estimated at 4% just, the existence of a band of under-employed equal to 25 % of the workers indicates the vastness of the weak pockets in the economic platform.
According to top-engineering-schools, the agricultural sector, while providing just 4 % of GDP, still occupies 18 % of assets: a clear indication of the importance of traditional crops and methods. The cultivated land does not exceed 13 % of the total area and among these the irrigation spaces, which are destined to modern fruit and vegetable crops (especially citrus fruits), occupy only 62,000 ha; the highlands remain the kingdom of corn and beans, bases of peasant nutrition, and of cattle breeding (large northern farms), while the mountainous slopes, which register different rates of humidity, provide good harvests of coffee, sugar cane and cocoa . The opium poppy crops, extended over 3000 ha, allow Mexico to be counted among the main drug suppliers of the nearby US market.
The various branches of industry account for 26 % of GDP and two points minus employment: food, metallurgy, mechanics, automobile construction are well represented, with valid peaks of excellence, so much so that over a fifth export is now made up of high-tech goods. The major production districts meet in the Valley of Mexico, and coincide with the other large urban areas; but further large clusters of factories arise near the border with the United States. About 4000 maquilladoras companies operate in this particular location, with US or mixed capital, concentrated in the textile, electrical, electronic and automotive sectors, which mostly operate assemblies of imported parts, taking advantage of the low cost of local labor and the favorable tax regime for re-export. These firms are expanding their workforce, but are reacting to massive Chinese competition by squeezing real wages. In support of the production momentum there is a substantial energy base, one fifth of which is ensured by hydroelectric sources, but first of all by a considerable patrimony of oil fields distributed over a wide range along the Gulf of Mexico: the country, with its 170 million tons per year, it is now sixth in the world for this energy source. The subsoil also provides other important mineral resources, such as, first of all, silver (3000 tons per year, at the top of the world ranking) and lead. 58 % of the employed work in the tertiary sector, which produces 70% of GDP. It is to a large extent a sector that absorbs many precarious and creative activities, but also includes avant-garde components, considering that Mexico City is the main financial center in Latin America and is also the operational base of a dense network of exchanges international. Many public and private investments have turned precisely to strengthening this sector, in particular the network of connections between the different parts of a vast territory that is sometimes very ‘gaping’: not surprisingly, one of the most demanding government plans is that of the 3 P (Plan Puebla-Panama), intended to link the heart of the country with the less developed regions of the South and with the whole of Central America with a motorway backbone. The tertiary sector’s point of excellence is the tourism economy, which has positive balances in the order of 2 billion dollars: over 20 million visitors, who come to 90% from rich North America, poured into the seaside resorts (Cancún and Acapulco), the historic centers of Hispanic colonization and archaeological sites. Finally, the potential and limits of the powerful economic momentum underway can be summarized by some figures on foreign trade: it is noted that in a decade since joining NAFTA, the volume of trade with the United States and Canada has tripled; but it is also observed that the US alone feeds 81 % of imports and absorbs 89 % of exports, tying Mexican economic relations in an almost exclusive – and de facto dependent – way to the fate and directives of the first power on the continent.