UPDATE 4-Mexico's Calderon-finances solid, economy may slow

viernes 26 de septiembre de 2008 05:37 CEST

(Adds finance minister's comment on remittances)

By Manuela Badawy and Noel Randewich

NEW YORK/MEXICO CITY, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Central Bank Governor Guillermo Ortiz said on Thursday a widening U.S. credit crisis could crimp Mexico's economic growth but that their country's financial system is healthy.

Calderon told investors at the New York Economics Club that Mexico has strengthened its finances in recent years -- cutting foreign debt, building foreign reserves, increasing taxes and balancing its budget.

But he warned that a deeper slowdown in the U.S. economy would also be felt in neighboring Mexico.

"We may need to revise our estimate for economic growth in Mexico this year," Calderon said.

Earlier this month, Mexico's finance ministry cut its forecast for 2008 growth to 2.4 percent from 2.8 percent.

Fears that the U.S. credit crisis could deepen and stall economic growth have slammed Mexican markets, erasing about 8.0 percent of the peso's MXN= MEX01 value so far this month.

A slowing U.S. economy will mean less money sent home from Mexican migrants working in the United States, with remittances likely to fall between 7 and 8 percent this year, Finance Minister Agustin Carstens told lawmakers in Mexico City.   Continuación...