In a joint address Wednesday, Mexico's finance minister José Antonio Meade and central bank governor Agustín Guillermo Carstens announced that the country would not immediately alter its monetary or fiscal policy in response to Donald Trump's victory in Tuesday's election. Trump has promised to scrap NAFTA, a free trade agreement that links the U.S. and Mexico; to impose high tariffs on imports from the country; and to build a wall along the U.S. Mexico border, which he says Mexico will pay for.
Despite the government's reassurances, however, the Ministry of Finance announced Thursday morning that it will reduce auctions of fixed-rate and inflation-linked peso bonds with maturities over 10 years during the remainder of 2016. At the same time, it will increase its issuance of bonds with maturities of five years and shorter.
While the country's central bank, the Bank of Mexico, did not immediately intervene to prop up the currency, it is widely expected to raise interest rates at its meeting next week.
"The electoral process in the United States has been reflected in an increase in uncertainty in international financial markets," Meade told reporters in Mexico City's National Palace Wednesday. "In this context, economic variables in our country have experienced episodes of volatility, especially in the exchange rate."
The Mexican peso, which served as a proxy for the U.S. election during the campaign, has been strongly inversely correlated with Trump's perceived chances of winning. When the results became clear, the currency dropped 13% against the dollar. As of Thursday afternoon, it takes 20.58 pesos to buy a dollar; a year ago, the rate was below 17. (See also, Trump Administration: What's Next for Corporate America?)
"The result of the election does not imply an immediate impact on the regulatory framework that regulates commerce in goods and services, financial flows or people's ability to travel between the two countries," Meade continued, saying that Mexico could "avoid premature reactions" due to the strength of its institutions.
"Mexico is in a position of strength to confront the new environment," he said, citing $175.1 billion in international reserves, which he called sufficient to cover all foreign investors' holdings in peso-denominated bonds. He added that Mexico benefits from an 86.2 billion peso flexible credit line from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Carstens spoke briefly, saying that the Bank of Mexico, "will consider the situation and make monetary policy decisions that its Board of Governors considers pertinent to completing its first mandate, to maintain low and stable inflation." Inflation is currently below the bank's target rate of 3%.