In this paper the authors show how potential output can be estimated and projected through an approach derived from the structural vector autoregression methodology. This approach is applied to the Mexican economy. To identify demand, supply and world oil shocks, the authors assume that demand shocks do not have a permanent effect on output and that the international price of oil is exogenous to the Mexican economy in the long term. They then calculate potential output by adding the world oil and supply components to the drift in output. They find that world oil shocks have been an important source of both actual and potential output fluctuations over a sample period extending from 1965 to 1994. However, they also find occurrences of important gaps between actual and potential output.