Mexico secretary says crisis affects Latin America

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Mexico's Treasury Secretary says the current financial crisis will "undoubtedly" affect Latin America, reducing demand for the commodity exports that have fueled the region's recent boom.

Secretary Agustin Carstens says continued volatility will deflate oil and other commodity prices, boosting investment risk.

He says Latin American countries must continue pushing structural changes to drive internal growth.

Carstens lowered his annual growth forecast for Mexico to 2.5 percent this month.

But he told reporters Monday night that Mexico is well-positioned to weather hard times, in part by boosting public spending.

The U.S. slowdown is slashing remittances, tourism and exports from Mexico, 80 percent of which go to the U.S.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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