NPR Story
2:18 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

Middle Class In Latin America Rises, But Mexican Growth Remains Slow

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 6:20 pm

TIJUANA, Mexico — A new report released by the World Bank shows overall improvement in the growth of the middle class in Latin America. But for Mexico, economic improvement remains slow.
The report, entitled "Economic Mobility and the Rise of the Latin American Middle Class," was published Tuesday.
Overall, the outlook is positive. The number of people climbing out of poverty and into the middle class rose by 50 percent. Some economists are calling that a historic achievement.
But in Mexico, about 75 percent of the population did not improve their economic status. According to the Mexican officials, around 52 million people still live in poverty. That's almost half the population.
Luis Felipe Lopez Calva, one of the report's authors, said the numbers must be taken in context.
"Mexico faces specific challenges that I would say are not particular to Mexico, but generally the region faces issues related to productivity and growth, to competitiveness," he said.
Economic growth in Mexico is forecasted by the World Bank to remain at 3.9 percent in 2012. It's expected to slow in 2013, decreasing to around 3.6 percent.
Just two other countries -- Guatemala and Nicaragua -- had less economic mobility than Mexico.