For a country that generates roughly 10% of its GDP from tourism, mostly from Americans, Mexico's surging violent crime rates, courtesy of its notoriously brutal drug cartels, is quickly becoming a 'yuge' economic issue. As we recently noted, more Americans have been killed while traveling abroad in Mexico than any other country, by a staggering margin, no less.
And while Mexico would love to shake it's bad rap when it comes to violence, the negative datapoints just continue to pile up. The latest such data comes courtesy of Mexico's car insurance association Amis, which found that auto thefts spiked in March 2017 by over 20% and current stand at multi-year highs. Per Bloomberg:
In March, the number of auto thefts rose 21 percent from the same month a year earlier, according to numbers from the car insurance association known as Amis. Meanwhile, the recovery rate -- the percentage of stolen cars that police were able to recover -- dropped to its lowest since at least 2005.
The car-theft trend “will continue throughout the second quarter which will, in turn, have an impact on first-half returns," Francisco Uriostegui, an analyst at Moody’s who helped write the report, said in an interview. “In the end, it’s the customer that will have to pay more, for a higher premium and it’ll be due to a drop in the recovery rate for these vehicles."
And while auto thefts may not seem all that threatening, it is just another datapoint that suggests an alarming trend in overall violence in a country that already leads the U.S. State Department's ranking for most travel warnings.
Oddly enough, no amount of State Department warnings have yet caused Americans to curb their appetite for those cheap Cabo vacations...
Though we suspect it's only a matter of time.