Road closures in downtown Puerto Vallarta this weekend.

Road closures in downtown Puerto Vallarta this weekend

April 28, 2017

During the international downhill cycling event “Down Puerto Vallarta”, which will be held for the first time in Puerto Vallarta this weekend, road closures to vehicular traffic have been announced for downtown.

To the north to the city, vehicles will diverted at Jesús Langarica Street and public transportation buses at Panama Street, returning to Colombia. On the south end, vehicular and transport vehicles will be rerouted at Lázaro Cárdenas street to Basilio Badillo and Venustiano Carranza. Only individuals with residents between these areas will be allowed entry by car. Closures are scheduled Saturday and Sunday between 3 pm – 10 pm.

Road authorities called on motorists, as well as public transport users, to take precautions and plan their routes accordingly.

Organizers of the event invited people to enjoy the free sports show that is held for the first time in the city, urging people not to use cars to avoid further complications on the roads.

The center of attraction will be Calle Aldama, where a 950 meters long bike track has been set up for speed and style that will end at the Malecón, a spectacle never seen before in Puerto Vallarta.

3 Story For Sale in Puerto Iguana, Puerto Vallarta

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•  250 sqm , 3 bath , 3 bdrm 3 story FOR SALE  390000 USD .
MLS® 11104

Esta casa de 3 niveles está ubicada en la exclusiva comunidad residencial de Puerto Iguana. Esta casa tiene una gran ubicación central al canal de la marina y se encuentra justo en frente de una de las 3 piscinas de la zona común. La casa se ha ampliado completamente en cuanto a los límites de construcción y ha tenido una renovación completa en la cocina con magnífico granito puesto a lo largo de todo, así como artesanía a mano artesanal increíble. Esta es una propiedad para mascotas y tiene en la administración del sitio.
Indicaciones: Entre Los Peines y Puerto Iguana Strip MallThis 3 level home is located in the exclusive Puerto Iguana residential community. This home has a great central location to the channel from the marina and it is located just in front of one of the 3 common area pools. The home has been fully extended as far as construction limits and has had a full renovation in the kitchen with gorgeous granite laid throughout as well as amazing hand crafted woodwork. This is a pet friendly property and has on site administration.
Directions: Between los Peines and Puerto Iguana Strip Mall.

Property information

Vanessa Amaro, ‘Ballet Folklórico Tradiciones’ and Dwight Blake to play Incanto.

Vanessa Amaro, ‘Ballet Folklórico Tradiciones’ and Dwight Blake to play Incanto

April 24, 2017

Soprano Vanessa Amaro will appear on two nights, April 27 & May 2 at 8:00. Born in Mexico City, she has a Degree in Music from the National Conservatory of Music and studied opera at the International Society of Values of Mexican Artists. Vanessa has won several awards, including Best Performance at the Carlo Morelli National Singing Contest in Mexico City. She was also a finalist in the Trujillo International Singing Contest in Peru, where she sang with the Peru Trujillo Symphony Orchestra. She has appeared in several of the main concert halls in Mexico, including the National Museum of Art. Jean-Guy Comeau will accompany on piano.
Ballet Folklórico Tradiciones is a group of young dancers who offer an exciting and dynamic show, featuring traditional dances from various Mexican states. They will perform Polkas and Picaros from the state of Chihuahua, Son Jarocho from Veracruz, and the difficult Zapateados from Guerrero. They will also perform the traditional ‘Dance of the Machetes’ from Nayarit, and as the Charros and beautiful women of Jalisco. The group was founded in 2016 by Director and Choreographer Alexis Guadalupe Jimon Garcia, under the direction of teacher Lucia Anaid Aldrete Lara, both having more than 15 years of experience in Mexican regional dance. They have been invited to attend the 10th Annual Shanghai Baoshan International Folk Art Festival in Japan, and will soon tour through the state of Puebla. Two nights only April 29 & 30 at 8:00.

Dwight Blake is an accomplished pianist/singer/composer who is passionate about music and loves entertaining. For two nights only, he’ll perform Name That Song! where he will play piano and sing audience favorites by request from artists like Stevie Wonder, Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Michael Bublé, and many more. Dwight is quite a gifted artist with a wide range vocally and is well-known for bringing heartfelt passion to his music. Dwight Blake will play May 6 & 13 at 8:00.

Alberto Cuevas ‘El Diamante’ stars in ‘One Night in Mexico’ accompanied by Salvatore ‘The Mexican Liberace’ on piano. Next show April 28 at 8:00. Incanto’s new Open Mic Nights are Tuesdays & Thursdays starting at 8:00 with hosts Chris Kenny and Tracy Parks. Singer/guitarist Audi Rodriguez plays on Sundays starting at 7:00. Jazz/Blues Quartet, Moelle, plays on Sundays at 8:00. Pianist Jay-Gee will play his final show for the season on Thursday, April 27 at 5:00, and singer/guitarist Gabriel Reyes plays on select nights at 5:00. Saturday BINGO with Pearl fundraisers continue at 5:00. And for the following two Saturdays they will be extended into the evening with a Broadway Show Tune sing-along to follow.

Tickets and more information are available online at Incanto’s website Breakfast is served 9:00 – 2:00 Tuesday thru Sunday. Evening meal service begins at 4:00 daily. Happy Hour is 2:00 – 6:00. Incanto is located at Insurgentes 109 (at the Rio Cuale). Box Office opens at 10:00 a.m. Phone them at 322 223 9756 for reservations. Closed Mondays.

Puerto Vallarta ramps-up efforts to collect vacation rental taxes.

Puerto Vallarta ramps-up efforts to collect vacation rental taxes

April 24, 2017

The Secretary of Planning, Administration and Finance (Sepaf) will go after the owners of homes and apartments located in Puerto Vallarta to collect the 3% Lodging Tax required by law.

The head of the Secretariat of Tourism of Jalisco (Secturjal), Enrique Ramos Flores, indicated that the objective is to supervise the owners of the properties that provide the service of hotel-type services without paying the required 3% Lodging Tax.

“It is precisely in the process of the Sepaf, hand in hand with service providers, hoteliers and the people of the Tourism Promotion Trust, to try to identify and address them,” said the head of the Secturjal.

The state official added that private home and condo rentals is a popular option for travelers in Puerto Vallarta, but, he said, the owners are required to pay the 3% tax accordingly. The evasion, he added, affects the finances of the municipality and the growth of the hotel industry.

The Secretary of Tourism said that until last February, Jalisco captured 24 million pesos through the Lodging Tax administered by the Tourism Promotion Trust of Puerto Vallarta. This was an increase of 20% at annual rate.

According to the estimates, there are more than 1,000 apartments for rent and 25,000 hotel rooms in Puerto Vallarta. Only in 2016, the destination received 26 million visitors.

According to the Comprehensive Observatory of the Puerto Vallarta and Bahía de Banderas Tourism Region, one out of every four tourists who visit these destinations, located in Jalisco and Nayarit respectively, rent a house or apartment through the internet, making a “Virtual business” difficult to monitor.

src – Economista

New National Public Security Survey puts Puerto Vallarta as safest city in Mexico.

New National Public Security Survey puts Puerto Vallarta as safest city in Mexico

April 20, 2017

The National Public Urban Security Survey tracks the public perception of safety in Mexico every quarter, in March 2017 residents felt safest in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

In January we reported Puerto Vallarta ranked second place with 40.5% of those surveyed having some anxiety over safety, well below the national average in December 2016. In the March 2017 survey, that number dropped to 29.7%.

In March 2017, the cities with the highest percentage of people aged 18 and over who considered living in their city to be insecure were: Ecatepec de Morelos, Villahermosa, Chilpancingo de los Bravo, Northern Mexico City, Fresnillo and Coatzacoalcos, with 93.6, 93.4, 93.3, 92.9, 91.3 and 91.2%, respectively. While the cities with the lowest perception of insecurity were: Puerto Vallarta, Merida, Durango, Saltillo, Piedras Negras and Aguascalientes, with 29.7, 33.1, 36.1, 43.9, 48.7 and 49.9%, respectively.

72.9% of the population aged 18 and over considered that living in their city is insecure, according to information from the National Public Urban Security Survey (ENSU) conducted by the Inegi during March 2017, that number was 74.1% in December 2016.

Regarding the perception of security in specific locations in March 2017, 80.2% of the population aged 18 and over stated that they felt insecure at ATMs, 73.4% on public transport, 66% at the bank and 65.1% on the streets that they usually travel.

In the third month of this year, 36.8% of the population considered that in the next 12 months the crime situation in their city will continue to be as bad (an increase of 2.2 percentage points over the same quarter of 2016), while 33.8% mentioned that the situation will worsen in the next twelve months, which represents an increase in the indicator of 0.5 percentage points compared to March 2016.

ENSU results reveal that in the first quarter of the year, the proportion of the population who reported having seen or heard criminal or antisocial behavior in the neighborhood of their home were: alcohol consumption in the streets (64.7%), robbery or assault (63%), vandalism (51.8%), drug sales or consumption (40%), violent gangs or gangs (34%) and frequent gunshots (32.5%). Percentage points in terms of witnessing frequent gunfire; While for vandalism in housing or businesses and violent gangs or gangs, decreases of 6.4 and 3.8 percentage points were observed, respectively.

Reshaping NAFTA could be good for Mexico.

Reshaping NAFTA could be good for MX

Around 98% of the corn that Mexicans use to make tortillas and other staples of their diet comes from the US.

Donald Trump’s trade stand may end up hurting US agriculture


Among other threats targeting Mexico during his election campaign, U.S. President Donald Trump harshly criticized the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), a 23-year-old tripartite deal that removed tariffs and significantly increased commerce between Canada, the United States and Mexico.

Renegotiation of the deal is likely to start late this year.

As Trump has pointed out, NAFTA contributed to a U.S. trade deficit with Mexico reaching US$63.2 billion last year. This is the country’s fourth-largest trade deficit, after China, Japan and Germany. America’s deficit with the other NAFTA nation, Canada, was slightly over US $11 billion in 2016.

But that’s only part of the story. Remove cars and auto part imports, for example, and the U.S. deficit with Mexico virtually disappears.

Overall, NAFTA has been beneficial to Mexico, Canada and the U.S. alike. Since it was signed in 1994, foreign direct investments (FDI) in Mexico have averaged 2.6% of GDP (compared to 1% for two decades before NAFTA). At present, annual bilateral trade between the U.S. and Mexico is running at $580 billion.

Much of Trump’s outdated protectionist rhetoric hinges on manufacturing, outsourcing of jobs to Mexico and immigration. Agriculture – a key link between the two nations – does not seem to have entered his calculations.

Globalization may have contributed to manufacturing job losses in the U.S., but it has had significant benefits for the American agricultural sector. U.S. exports of agricultural products to Mexico have increased nearly fivefold since NAFTA was signed.

For the 2014-15 crop marketing year, U.S. corn production was 360 million tonnes, 13% of which was exported. Mexico accounted for 23% of these exports.

In 2016, Mexico imported $17.9 billion in American agricultural products: $2.6 billion in corn, $1.5 billion in soybeans, $1.3 billion in pork and $1.2 billion in dairy products.

Around 98% of the corn that forms a staple of the Mexican diet comes from the U.S. Mexico also buys 7.8% of all U.S. pork production.

What has been good for U.S. farmers has actually hurt Mexican agriculture. Lulled by a steady supply of cheap U.S. farm products and low transportation costs, and assuming that the good times will continue, Mexico has not diversified its agricultural imports. It depends heavily on U.S. farmers to feed its people, endangering Mexico’s long-term food security.

The U.S. is the world’s top exporter of agricultural products, but there are other global breadbaskets, including Brazil, Australia, Russia, Argentina and Ukraine. As these rivals have adopted more modern farming and agricultural practices and improved their transport and product-handling infrastructure in recent years, America’s global export share has been steadily declining.

Political decisions have at times accelerated this decline. In 1979, the U.S. banned grain sales to the then-Soviet Union because of its invasion of Afghanistan. This forced the U.S.S.R. to improve its own grain production, and, in 2016, Russia surpassed the U.S. for the first time in wheat exports.

Might Donald Trump’s administration be facing a similar watershed moment for American agriculture?

As America threatens to close its agricultural export door, it has damaged Mexico’s confidence in the reliability of its major supplier – perhaps permanently. In a January 2017 Washington Post opinion piece, former Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo wrote that it was a “waste of time” to play “NAFTA tweaking games with the Trump administration.”

Though Mexico currently has free trade agreements with 45 countries (more than any other country in the world), agriculture has consistently been the most sensitive issue in Mexico’s free trade agreements. Trump has changed that.

Today, the country is accelerating its search for new partners to meet its national agricultural needs. Sensing long-term opportunities, Brazil and Argentina – both major exporters of beef, wheat, soybeans and other prized U.S. agricultural products – are elbowing their way to the front of the queue. Neither currently has a free trade agreement with Mexico.

Mexico’s Economy Undersecretary, Juan Carlos Baker, has said that the country is “pretty far advanced with Brazil. Argentina is a few steps behind,” confirming that Mexico could offer South American producers terms similar to those currently enjoyed by American farmers “if it suits us.”

As Brazil’s Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi has announced, that the country is “back in the game.”

Mexico is also discussing bilateral deals with Australia and New Zealand, two other main food-exporting countries.

In addition to government-to-government agreements, companies that produce and trade agricultural products are also seeing Mexico’s vast import market with new eyes. One of them is Adecoagro, which owns and leases some 434,000 hectares of farmlands in Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay and harvests two million tons of agricultural products annually.

The New York-traded Buenos Aires-based firm, whose major shareholders include the Hungarian-American investor George Soros, the Dutch Pension Fund PGGM and the Qatar Investment Authority, currently exports agricultural products such as corn, wheat, soybean and cotton to Africa, Asia and Middle East.

It sees NAFTA-related uncertainties as an opportunity to penetrate the Mexican market, especially if Brazilian and Argentinian products are granted favorable U.S.-style export arrangements.

In addition to diversifying its trading partners, Mexico is also seeking to stimulate its domestic agricultural production, according to several government officials and advisers.

New policies currently under consideration would incentivize farmers to produce more, modernize their farms, increase crop yields and expand cultivable areas. The country is also looking to improve its transportation and storage infrastructure, including ports that could be used for bulk grain imports.

All of these efforts will help put Mexico on more equal footing with the United States in future NAFTA negotiations. So, too, would retaliatory measures against a threatened U.S. border tax. (And, anyway, if the U.S. does decide to implement one, the market is likely to sell off Mexican pesos aggressively, making Mexican products cheaper even with new tariffs.)

Like the 1979 U.S. grain ban that helped Russia improve its agriculture, Trump’s vituperation may prove beneficial to Mexico (and bad for the U.S.) in the decades to come.

In the meantime, Mexico is facing a tough political and social landscape. President Enrique Peña Nieto’s approval rating is nearing single digits and the the economy is performing anaemically, with 2017 economic growth predicted to be a paltry 1%.

With a presidential election approaching in 2018, Peña Nieto is unlikely to hard sell to his people a new NAFTA that does not appeal to Mexicans. So it would be good politics, too, to play hardball with Trump.

Mexico has more policy options than it thinks. And it may have less to lose than its northern neighbor.

If ending NAFTA hurts farmers in America’s Corn Belt, who voted overwhelmingly for Trump, there goes the Republican’s reelection.The Conversation

Cecilia Tortajada is a senior research fellow at Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of SingaporeAsit Biswas, a distinguished visiting professor at Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, contributed to the article, which was originally published on The Conversation.

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Join Food Network Stars at Cuisine of the Sun International Culinary Festival – April 26 – 29.

Join Food Network Stars at Cuisine of the Sun International Culinary Festival – April 26 – 29

Cuisine of the Sun International Culinary Festival is a star-studded event, curated for the second time by Food Network celebrity chef and USFOODS culinary specialist, Food Network’s Penny Davidi, brings together some of the biggest names in the food and wine industry.

Food Network’s Penny Davidi will be in attendance at Villa La Estancia’s Cuisine of the Sun Culinary Festival 

Local residents and readers of the Vallarta Tribune are invited to attend this multi-day event, and tickets are available with a 20% discount to the regular price. There are a limited number of tickets available with the local discount, and it’s recommended to purchase your tickets early to avoid disappointment.

Call Villa La Estancia at 322-226-9700 Ext. 5000 to book your ticket, and mention that you are a reader of Vallarta Tribune to have the discount applied.

More info


Lesser-known ports in Mexico see more cruise ships.

Lesser-known ports see more cruise ships

Arrivals overall are up 18% in first two months of the year


Readjustments in Mexico’s cruise ship industry have led to wins and losses for the various cruise ship ports but on the whole the industry has come out ahead in the first two months of the year.

The readjustments have been made as a result of security concerns and a shortage of facilities, sending more ships to lesser known destinations and fewer ships to some of the traditionally popular ports.

Among the beneficiaries have been Huatulco, Oaxaca; Puerto Chiapas, Chiapas; Acapulco, Guerrero; and Loreto, Baja California, according to the Communications and Transportation Secretariat.

In the first two months of last year, Puerto Chiapas saw just one cruise ship arrival. This year there were six. Acapulco went from six to 11, Huatulco from five to 10 and Loreto from one arrival to two.

In contrast, Mazatlán saw a 9% decline in visits and Manzanillo a whopping 37.5% drop.

The industry’s main challenge is insecurity. The president of the Association of Cruise Line Service Providers (AMEPACT) said the perception of insecurity in some destinations has prompted cruise lines to switch ports.

But worse now is that insecurity is not so much a perception any more but reality, said Arturo Musi.

Port changes have also been made due to limitations in facilities. If there isn’t capacity at a particular destination, a ship will be sent to another that has space, Musi said.

But on the whole, arrivals are up so far this year by 18% to 484. The number of passengers is also up, from 1.22 million to 1.439 million.

But Musi laments the fact that the cruise ship market has not yet recuperated from the decline recorded in 2008 when it took a beating due to insecurity, influenza and the economic crisis. Mexico was a leader back then; now it is in 14th place as a cruise destination.

Despite that, it is still one of the top 10 preferred destinations, according to the Latin America manager of Princess Cruises. Ruth Leal pointed to Cozumel: with 1,200 annual arrivals and 16% of the world market, it is the industry’s principal port in Latin America.

Source: Reforma (sp)

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Editor’s Note: April 15, 2017

Editor’s Note

With the slow down of the high season, I have started to ‘spring clean’ and garden. Spruce the place up for the coming rains. I decided to complement my soon to be planted garden by adding a chicken into my menagerie. Right? Who doesn’t secretly want to snuggle those little balls of fluff?

We went out to the town of Ixtapa, a suburb behind the airport , to a recommended farm supply veterinarian who sells baby chicks by the 1000’s. It was pretty great seeing all the puffs squished together under the heat lamps. How to choose… At first, I said, ‘Oh, I want that one.’ But was quickly shut down when told those ones were for juegando, which translated means playing, or in actuality, fighting. A random baby duck that was in with the chicks came up to me, big dewy eyes and basically asked: “Are you, my mother?” My husband put a stop to that immediately. But let me tell you, it was very soft and downy and it tore my heart to walk away. Except apparently ducks smell bad and it was a blessing in disguise.

Out of the 1000’s of day old chicks scurrying away from my hand, Rosemary came right to me. She gave me a solid ‘chirp, chirp’ and now, two weeks later, she happily rests on my shoulder while I work on the newspaper, make dinner, watch tv, read in the garden. She’s my buddy.

Backyard chickens are pretty easy to raise. They don’t need a lot of space; they eat all your bugs and leftover table scraps. What I didn’t know was how attached they can become. Rosemary follows me everywhere and wants to sit on my shoulder any chance she gets. And she’s vocal about it too. Ignore her for too long and she’ll raise quite the racket. When she is settled and happy she does a soft purr. It’s beyond adorable.

She’s still too small to live outside on her own but in a few months time I’m hoping she will be the ant assassin and she will have fondness for leaf cutter ants in particular. I see a Marvel comic book character in the making. With her trusty but slightly stuck-up, princessy chihuahua sidekick, Penelope, together they will fight plant-destroying bugs. If you want to know more I actually made an Instagram account. You can check it out at

Not to be outdone for Easter cuteness, for the fourth year, Taste at Casa Cupola is hosting their Easter Bonnet Brunch on Easter Sunday. The $399 peso admission goes towards an excellent Mexican/American style brunch and funds are donated to SETAC. You are encouraged to don your most elaborate Easter Bonnet. Grand prize for the best bonnet is a whopping $5000 pesos! That will buy some baby chicks!

Looking for something a little less filling? For those who are into DJ music and crowds of young people in beachwear, then head to Playa Boca Negro in front of Bay View Hotel from April 13-15. Entrance is free. There are DJ’s all day, booze, and food for purchase. Lots of sponsors offering prizes and giveaways. This is the Semana Santa beach party, and I can confidently say I’m happy my house is not located near Bay View Hotel.

Still rocking, though perhaps a little quieter than the party on Playa Boca Negra, is Incanto. They are planning to remain open for most of the summer. Join them for breakfast on the river or hit the piano bar during cocktail hour. Some great news for those of us who live year round in the north side of Banderas Bay – Luna Lounge Bucerias has announced that after a short sojourn to Canada they’re planning on being open all summer, as is Tescalama in La Cruz.

Still up and running are the many farmers’ markets around the bay. The La Cruz Huanacaxtle Sunday market recently announced they would remain open until mid May, while most other will close the last week of April. The Los Mangos market will remain open through the summer as will Three Hens and a Rooster and the Friday Marsol by the Pier Market is rain or shine 52 weeks of the year. Be sure to stop by and support our local vendors.

Have a wonderful Easter. Be safe. Don’t drink and drive.

Safe travels,


Mexico’s economy starts strong in 2017.

Mexico’s economy starts strong in 2017

April 12, 2017

The election of Donald Trump as U.S. president last year raised the specter of economic recession in Mexico, sent the country’s peso into a tailspin, and threatened local industry such as car making.

But four months on, Mexican automobile output is accelerating fast, unemployment is at a nine-year low, and the peso has been one of the world’s best-performing currencies in 2017.

Since diplomatic ties reached a nadir in January with the cancellation of Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto’s planned meeting with Trump, business confidence has slowly returned.

Fears that Trump could tear up the NAFTA trade treaty have subsided, and so far the hit to foreign investment has been slight, said Gilberto Fimbres, head of Mexican employers’ federation Coparmex in the northern border city of Tijuana.

“The storm of the great talker, the big negotiator, descended on us,” he said. “Then it turns out that all these great things, the great threat, weren’t so great in the end.”

Instead, Mexican auto production leapt 36 percent in March, capping the strongest start to any year since 2011. The same month, growth in new manufacturing orders was the highest in six months, the Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index showed.

As a result, areas most exposed to the threat of a trade war are now looking ahead with cautious optimism.

Baja California, a major draw for manufacturers supplying the U.S. market, expects to book $2.7 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) this year, up from about $2.5 billion in 2016, said Carlo Bonfante, the border state’s economy minister.

Companies investing in the state this year include China’s Kunshan Eson Precision Engineering, Korea-based electronic components maker INZI DISPLAY, and U.S. drinks company Constellation Brands although its plans are facing opposition from local farmers worried about water supply.

In Guanajuato state in central Mexico, a car making hub, the industry is likely to create some 20,000 new jobs this year, an increase of about 10 percent from 2016, said Alfredo Arzola, director of the local automotive cluster.

Arzola declined to give specific examples, saying that “absolutely all” the auto sector companies in Guanajuato, which include General Motors, Honda and Volkswagen, were adding jobs.

Broader surveys present a similar picture.

A poll of 868 foreign and domestic executives by consultancy KPMG showed 58 percent planned to expand operations in Mexico in the next three years, up three percentage points from a year earlier. Though published in March, the survey was conducted November-December at the height of uncertainty over Trump.

Maurizio Rosa, chief executive of Codan Rubber Mexico, a maker of hoses for the automotive industry, said his worries about Trump began to fade when U.S. clients persuaded him that Mexico was indispensable to their business.

“If you take away the low-cost parts the U.S. buys from Mexico, it’s going to be very difficult for them,” said Rosa, who expects Codan’s sales to rise around 30 percent this year.

Rosa declined to name his clients, but said they included parts suppliers to global automakers including Nissan, Fiat Chrysler and Ford.

Risks to economic growth still loom, including government spending cuts, rising interest rates, low oil production, and lingering fears over Trump’s plan to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between Mexico, the United States and Canada.

Trump’s threats to slap import tariffs on Mexican-made cars in the weeks after his victory pummeled the peso. However, the currency’s slump helped spur a revival in exports and tourism.

Concern about NAFTA still clouds investment, and on March 31 the government cut its 2017 growth forecast by 0.7 points to around 1.8 percent.

Still, private sector economists who cut growth forecasts last year on fears Trump could choke the economy are starting to revise up estimates, citing stronger data and a softer tone from U.S. officials over trade in recent weeks.

Much depends on consumer sentiment, which hit a record low when Trump took office in January, the same month the government ushered in an inflation-boosting gasoline price hike.

But the more conciliatory U.S. tone, a drop in unemployment to its lowest rate since December 2007, and the peso’s appreciation over the past 2 1/2 months have helped confidence rebound.

(Reporting by Dave Graham and Michael O’Boyle; editing by Christian Plumb and Clive McKeef)