Robert P. Forrestal, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, says the Mexico crisis should not affect Nafta. “Nafta is alive and well and will continue to be so,” he said during his annual international economic forecast at meeting of the German American Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday Jan. 24.

Mr. Forrestal called on Congress to pass the proposed $40 billion loan guarantee to shore up Mexico’s economy. He warned that if Mexico’s economy is not stabilized the country may undergo “very substantial social turmoil,” something Americans would not want on their border.

He noted that earlier on the day he spoke Mexico was able to sell only half the bonds it had up for auction, a clear sign that “confidence is not there.” He said if the guarantee package is passed confidence will be restored, resulting in “the return flows of investment” to Mexico.

Mr. Forrestal’s international economic outlook was generally upbeat. (See chart above).

For further information, call Keenan Conigland at (404) 521-8748.      

William C. (Curt) Hunter, an Atlanta Fed vice president, was named the Chicago Fed’s senior vice president and research director effective March 1.