Mexican president sees 'at least' 2 percent economic growth in 2019

FILE PHOTO: Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador looks on during a meeting with industry bosses and members of his cabinet to discuss the new administration's policy on the minimum wage at National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico December 17, 2018. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido/File Photo

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Tuesday that the country’s economy will grow “at least” 2 percent this year, projecting a larger expansion than a government estimate issued just a day earlier.

On Monday, the finance ministry lowered its 2019 growth estimate to between 1.1 percent and 2.1 percent, compared to a previous estimate of between 1.5 percent to 2.5 percent.

Lopez Obrador told reporters at his regular morning news conference on Tuesday that the projection was too conservative.

“I think their forecast was too low. We’re going to grow at least by an estimated 2 percent this year ... and 3 percent next year,” he said.

The former Mexico City mayor promises an end to what he calls neoliberal projects and has targeted 4 percent growth by the end of his six-year term. He added that he will pursue “a better distribution of revenue, a better distribution of wealth.”

Reporting by David Alire Garcia and Diego Ore; Editing by Susan Thomas