MEXICO: Priming the Pump

When he took office after an era of openhanded public spending, Mexico's President Adolfo Ruiz Cortines suspended all government contracts to comb them for waste and graft. Construction industries soon felt the pinch and the whole economy slowed down. In 1953, output fell, the foreign-trade deficit rose one-third, and nearly all employers laid off help. Last week, faced by a worsening business recession, the President announced that he would shelve austerity and spend a record $400 million this year on pump-priming public works.

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