The future of United States-Mexico economic relations is up in the air after Donald Trump’s surprising victory in the United States presidential election.
As the Wall Street Journal reported, this uncertainty is reflected in the mood of businesspersons in Mexico. Some, like the former head of the Banco de Mexico Guillermo Ortiz, believe that “as a businessman, Trump will listen to [the business community].” However, others are less certain.
“All long term investment will be put on hold until Trump’s protectionist policies are unveiled, and their impact clearly understood,” said Armando Santacruz, a Mexican businessman.
The uncertainty in the business sector is reflected in Mexican monetary policy as well.
The Mexican peso has fluctuated throughout this election. As it had done in the past, the peso fell last night by 13 percent to more than 20 pesos per US dollar.
The peso has fallen in value since last year; typically falling as Trump surged – the spikes in the graph above – and gaining, especially in the last month, when it appeared that Hillary Clinton had a clear path to the presidency.
About a week before the US election, the peso started to lose ground against other major currencies. This loss was initiated by a tightening in the polls between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and the United State Federal Bureau of Investigation’s announcement that it was looking into a new cache of emails relating to their closed investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server as Secretary of State.
The day after the election, as Reuters reports, Mexican officials did not announce a plan to support the peso.
Economists are consistently predicting that the Mexican Central Bank will raise interest rates in the coming months. The contention lies in the question: By how much?
Just after midnight, Reuters reported speculation by three economists that the Banco de Mexico would raise rates between 75 and 150 basis points. However, any rate hike seems to have been postponed until the previously scheduled November 17 meeting.
Agustin Carstens, the Governor of the Banco de Mexico, said before the election that he was working with the Finance Minister on a “contingency plan” in the event of a Trump victory.
However, after Trump’s victory the contingency plan appears to be a “wait and see” strategy.
After an initial dive in after-hours trading, the US stock market has recovered as investors come to terms with the electoral upset.
Although there is past precedent to suggest that the plan may include strong interventionist policies, such as the interest rates swaps used in 2008.
Given the uncertainty in the United States and abroad regarding what comes next, the relative calm among Mexican monetary authorities may be the best plan of action for the next week.