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Cost of Basic Food Basket in Mexico Three Times Greater Than Minimum Wage

Emir Olivares Alonso - La Jornada
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June 20, 2015

To purchase the recommended basic food basket (CAR) - which includes 40 products for the daily intake of two adults and two children - but without considering the costs of living, education, healthcare, clothing, footwear, and transportation, among other living expenses, Mexican workers would require a daily income of 210 pesos [US$13.68], the amount of nearly three minimum wages.

Experts from the Multidisciplinary Analysis Center (CAM) in UNAM's Economics Department warned of the above issue in their latest report, which is the result of their investigate work in which they recognize the loss of purchasing power of the wages of Mexicans (78%) from 1983-2015, a period that has seen implementation of the neoliberal model.

In an analysis of Enrique Pena Nieto's 17 months of management as head of Federal Executive power, the members of CAM indicate that between 2013 and 2015, the minimum wage went up just 5.34 pesos [US$0.35], from 64.76 to 70.10 pesos a day [US$4.22 to US4.57], but the cost of the basic food basket went from 171.86 to 201.01 pesos [US$11.20 to US$13.10], an increase of 29.15 pesos [US$1.90].

The university researchers concluded that the loss of purchasing power so far in the PRI administration is 7.45%: "Far from generating a change in the direction of wage and labor policies, (the current government) has deepened them [existing market-oriented policies], to the detriment of the interests of workers and their families."

The group, coordinated by David Lozano Tovar, indicates that between December 16, 1987, and April 15, 2015, the price of the basic food basket increased almost 5,000%, while the minimum wage rose only 1,000%.

Read the rest at Mexico Voices

Mexico Voices is a blogging endeavor aimed at raising the awareness of U.S. citizens regarding the destructive impact of the U.S. economic policy and the War on Drugs on Mexico — on its people, their economic and physical security and their human rights, on the nation’s dysfunctional justice system, and on the rule of law and Mexico’s fragile democracy. Visit the website at

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