Mexico’s Congress approves budget, set to go into law

The upper house of Congress approved Mexico’s budget with 79 votes in favor and 10 against and sent it to the executive branch for signing.

The version was unchanged from the legislation approved by Mexico’s lower house last week, which was tweaked by a lower house finance committee.

The committee had adjusted the projected foreign exchange rate to 18.62 per dollar from a prior estimate of 18.20, and raised the revenue estimate by some 51.4 billion pesos ($2.77 billion).

The budget was also based on a projected average crude oil export price $42 per barrel. Mexico’s finances have come under pressure in the last couple of years due to the steep drop in oil prices.

The initial 2017 budget draft submitted to Congress in September foresaw spending cuts and targeted a primary surplus of 0.4 percent of gross domestic product.

A primary surplus is achieved when government tax revenues exceed expenditures, excluding interest payments. It is considered a measure of a country’s creditworthiness.

(Reporting by Alexandra Alper and Lizbeth Diaz; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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