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Saying that the 1990s could be a "continental divide" for Mexico's economy, a Mexican economic consultant gave a detailed lesson in Mexico's improving fiscal situtation yesterday as part of a Wharton School conference. Abel Beltran del Rio, the president of the Center for Econometric Investigation in Mexico (CIEMEX) -- which forms economic models used by Mexico's government -- told a small group of approximately 15 graduate students and faculty members at Stiteler Hall that Mexico was on the divide of dramatic strengthening. He also highlighted an economic model he designed to improve the country's economy. As part of the day-long conference entitled "Mexico: Foreign Investment in the North American Common Market," Beltran del Rio, in a 90-minute speech, informed the audience on CIEMEX's "most probable" three economic models that they have constructed for Mexico this year. His speech focused largely around mathematical statistics and economic models predicting reduction of inflation rates of over 100 percent. He said that in recent years the U.S. inflation has remained below five percent. Beltran del Rio said that there are things the other countries can do to help Mexico break out of its economic floundering. He cited increased foreign investment, opening the economy and "letting market forces work" as means of alleviating Mexico's debt problem. Many in the audience agreed that Mexico's economy is opening up and growing, but some stressed that political restraints and real-world problems will make Mexico's job difficult. Audience members praised CIEMEX, which was founded by Beltran del Rio -- who earned his doctorate from the University -- and by University Professor and Nobel Laureate Laurence Klein.

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