Page last updated at 01:47 GMT, Saturday, 18 April 2009 02:47 UK

Mexico granted $47bn IMF credit

By Stephen Gibbs
BBC News, Mexico City

Britain's PM Gordon Brown greets Mexico's President Felipe Calderon at the G20 summit in London, 2 April
Mr Calderon (r) requested the credit before the G20 summit in London

The International Monetary Fund has formally approved a $47bn (£32bn) line of credit for Mexico.

It is the first country to get the credit under a new fast track scheme designed to help developing nations cope with the global economic crisis.

Several Eastern European countries are also seeking similar credit lines.

Mexico has said it does not intend to use the money, but applied for it as a precaution in the event of further deterioration in global markets.

Mexico, which sells 80% of its exports to the United States, has been hit hard by the global recession.

Industrial output last month fell by over 13%, the sharpest decline in 14 years.

The Mexican peso has also been on a generally downward path, falling around 20% against the dollar during the last year.

Applying for an IMF loan was once seen as a sign of desperation for developing countries.

News that the lender of last resort was stepping in would often be the final blow to their struggling economies.

But the Mexican government and the IMF are keen to stress that that there is no stigma attached to this particular type of loan, which is designed to support countries seen as strong economic performers during the global credit crisis.

Since President Felipe Calderon publicly announced his country was requesting the credit just before the G20 summit in London earlier this month, the peso and the Mexican stock market have strengthened.

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