Services expanded 2.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018, below a preliminary reading of 2.9 percent and slowing from a downwardly revised 3.1 percent increase in the previous period. Growth slowed in: retail trade (3.1 percent vs 5.5 percent); transport and storage (2.2 percent vs 3.4 percent); real estate activities (2.1 percent vs 2.2 percent); business services (3.5 percent vs 5.5 percent); health care & social assistance (2.0 percent vs 3.3 percent); cultural and sports activities (0.2 percent vs 1.9 percent) and food & accomodation services (0.3 percent vs 0.7 percent). In addition, corporate services posted a decline (-1.1 percent vs 0.7 percent). Conversely, stronger rises were seen in information & communication (8.5 percent vs 4.4 percent); finance and insurance (9.0 percent vs 8.3 percent) and professional, scientific and technical services (4.1 percent vs 3.1 percent).
The industrial sector shrank 0.9 percent, more than an initial estimate of a 0.7 percent contraction and against a 1.1 percent expansion in the previous period. Manufacturing activity rose 1.5 percent, slowing from a 2.3 percent increase in Q3 and the utilities sector expanded at a softer 1.4 percent compared to a 4.2 percent surge in the prior quarter. Concomitantly, declines were seen in mining (-7.3 percent vs -3.1 percent) mainly due to oil (-8.2 percent vs -3.3 percent); and construction (-2.2 percent vs 0.8 percent).
In contrast, the agricultural sector grew 3 percent, above a preliminary figure of 2.8 percent and a downwardly revised 2.0 percent rise in the third quarter.
On a quarterly basis, the economy advanced 0.2 percent, as expected, compared to a preliminary figure of 0.3 percent and easing from a downwardly revised 0.6 percent expansion in Q3.
Considering the full year of 2018, the Mexican GDP grew 2.0 percent, unchanged from the initial estimate, but below 2.1 percent in 2017.