Friday May 26 2017
Mexico Jobless Rate Falls To 3.5% In April
INEGI |Luisa Carvalho | luisa.carvalho@tradingeconomics.com

The unemployment rate in Mexico decreased to 3.5 percent in April of 2017 from 3.8 percent a year ago but worse than market expectations of 3.32 percent. On a seasonally adjusted basis, it rose to 3.5 percent from 3.2 percent in March.

Compared to a year earlier, the unemployment rate declined for men (3.3 percent from 3.9 percent) and was steady for women (3.7 percent). Among unemployed people, 18.3 percent had not completed secondary education and 81.7 percent had a higher eduaction.

Those underemployed accounted for 7.6 percent of total employed, higher than 7.5 percent a year earlier.

The participation rate decreased to 58.93 percent from 59.35 in April of 2016.




Thursday May 25 2017
Mexico Trade Balance Swings To Surplus In April
INEGI |Luisa Carvalho | luisa.carvalho@tradingeconomics.com

Mexico posted a trade surplus of USD 617 million in April of 2017 compared to a USD 2109 million trade deficit a year earlier and better than market expectations of a USD 1804 million shortfall. It is the highest trade surplus for an April month since 1996, as exports advanced 3.6 percent and imports declined 5 percent.

Exports rose 3.6 percent year-on-year to USD 31.49 billion, following an upwardly revised 14.1 percent in March and marking the sixth straight annual gain. Non-oil sales, which account for 95 percent of total exports increased 2.6 percent while oil sales jumped 26.9 percent.

Exports of manufactured products advanced 1.9 percent, boosted by sales of food, beverages and tobacco (8.4 percent); equipment and electric and electronic apparatus (7.6 percent); special machinery and equipment for industries (5.2 percent) and automotive products (1.5 percent). Also, sales of agricultural and fisheries rose 5 percent, mainly those of fresh strawberries (78.9 percent), citrus (58.8 percent), avocados (52.2 percent) and fresh vegetables (34.4 percent). Meantime, shipments of mining products jumped 49.9 percent, compared to a 3.9 percent drop in March.

Exports to the United States grew 2.4 percent, accounting for more than 80 percent of total non-oil shipments. Auto sales rose 4.2 percent, accounting for more than 27 percent, while exports of other products went up 1.5 percent. Sales to the rest of the world rose 3.5 percent, with other products increasing by 10.1 percent while autos declined 15.9 percent.

Imports shrank 5 percent to 30.87 billion, following a 15 percent rise in the previous month and marking the first decline after five straight months of increases. Purchases of consumption goods went down 3.7 percent and those of intermediate goods and capital goods also decreased 5.3 percent and 4.9 percent, respectively.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, exports dropped 2.55 percent to USD 32.78 billion, led by a 2.72 percent fall in non-oil sales while oil shipments went up 0.51 percent. Imports also decreased 5.71 percent to USD 33.06 billion, narrowing the trade deficit to USD 297 million.




Monday May 22 2017
Mexico GDP Growth At 1-1/2-Year High In Q1
Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

The Mexican economy expanded a non-seasonally adjusted 2.8 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2017, higher than 2.7 percent in the preliminary reading and above a downwardly revised 2.3 percent increase in the previous period. It is the biggest growth rate in six quarters as services grew further and industrial output rebounded, final figures showed.

The services sector advanced 3.7 percent, faster than 3.4 percent in the fourth quarter and in line with preliminary figures. Industrial production went up 0.5 percent, above 0.2 percent earlier estimated and following a 0.1 percent drop in the previous period. Agriculture jumped 6.6 percent, above 5.3 percent in the fourth quarter but lower than 6.9 percent in the preliminary reading.

On a quarterly basis, the economy grew a seasonally adjusted 0.7 percent, the same as in Q4 and better than initial estimates of 0.6 percent. 




Monday May 22 2017
Mexico GDP Growth Revised Up to 0.7% In Q1
Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

The Mexican economy expanded 0.7 percent on quarter in the first three months of 2017, higher than 0.6 percent in the preliminary estimate and the same as in the previous period. Agriculture and industry expanded more than expected, final figures showed. Yet, the Mexican economy’s fundamentals look stronger than anticipated after an initial shock triggered by the US presidential election sent investment and consumer sentiment to record-low levels in January, worsening the growth outlook. However, investment has been hurt by uncertainty surrounding US and Mexico relations and industrial output remains subdued.

Services rose 1 percent, higher than 0.9 percent in the previous period and in line with earlier estimates. The agricultural sector expanded 1.1 percent, above 0.6 percent in the last three months of 2016 and better than preliminary figures of 0.7. Industrial output edged up a meager 0.1 percent for the third quarter, although better than a flat reading initially estimated. 

As President Trump’s rhetoric on NAFTA and proteccionism moderates, the Mexican peso recovered to pre-US election levels and exports, car production and private spending continue to support growth. However, private and public investment remain subdued amid uncertainty over bilateral relationship between Mexico and the United States. Yet, industrial production remains weak, with the manufacturing PMI falling to 50.7 from 51.5 in April. Political risk between US and Mexico is far from gone as President Trump already informed the US Congress he wants to start renegotiating the NAFTA deal as soon as in August. The United States are Mexico's main export partner, accounting for more than 80 percent of total exports and around half of cars exported. 

On a yearly basis, the GDP advanced 2.8 percent, above 2.7 percent in the preliminary reading. 




Monday May 22 2017
Mexican Economy Remains Resilient
mario.campa@tradingeconomics.com | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

The Mexican economic fundamentals seem more resilient than anticipated after an initial shock triggered by the US presidential election sent investment and consumer sentiment to record-low levels in January. The economy grew in the first three months of the year, exports keep improving despite US trade noise, the peso recovered to pre-US election levels and transitory inflation shocks begin to fade.

The economy expanded a seasonally adjusted 0.7 percent on quarter in the first three months of 2017, following a 0.7 percent growth in the previous period and beating initial estimates of 0.6 percent. The growth was driven by a faster expansion in the services sector (1 percent vs 0.9 percent in Q4); a 0.1 percent rise in industrial production (the same as in the previous period and better than an initial flat reading) and a 1.1 percent increase in agriculture.

Recent trade data showed exports jumped 11.2 percent year-on-year in Q1. Manufacturing exports climbed 9.2 percent and oil exports surged 58.1 percent benefitting mainly by a favorable FX comparison in annual terms and by high double-digit growth in exports to countries other than the US.

Consumer confidence has improved to 84.3 in April 2017, continuing to bounce back from January’s record-low of 69.9 backed by a stronger peso, the increase in the minimum wage in early 2017, and by the fading effects of gasoline price hikes. As such, domestic demand is expected to keep driving the expansion in 2017.

The manufacturing confidence reached a 5-month high of 46.7 in April as manufacturers current assessment on the country's general economic situation and investment improved and the opinion concerning investment remained favorable. Also, Markit Manufacturing PMI has bounced back from a 4-year low reached in December.

On the negative side, despite peso appreciation, inflation is expected to remain above central bank’s upper bound target of 4 percent for most of the year affected by the liberalization of gasoline prices. Elevated inflation rate in connection with Fed’s tightening cycle may force the Bank of Mexico to further raise the borrowing cost. Since December of 2015, the central bank has increased the target for the overnight interbank interest rate on 9 occasions, for a total 375 bps.





Tuesday May 09 2017
Mexico Inflation Rate At Near 8-Year High of 5.82%
INEGI | Luisa Carvalho | luisa.carvalho@tradingeconomics.com

Consumer prices in Mexico jumped 5.82 percent year-on-year in April of 2017, following a 5.35 percent rise in March and above market expectations of 5.71 percent. The inflation rate accelerated for the tenth straight month, reaching the highest since May of 2009, mainly led by cost of food and energy after the government hiked gasoline prices in the beginning of the year.

Prices continued to rise for food, beverages and tobacco (6.77 percent vs 6.49 percent in March). Meanwhile, cost increased at a slower pace for housing (2.55 percent vs 2.56 percent), education (4.40 percent vs 4.41 percent) and energy (15.88 percent vs 17.09 percent).

The core index which strips out some volatile food and energy prices advanced 4.72 percent, following a 4.48 percent increase in March.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices went up 0.12 percent compared to a 0.61 percent gain in the prior month and the core index rose 0.45 percent.




Friday April 28 2017
Mexican Economy Remains Resilient
joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com, mario.campa@tradingeconomics.com

After an initial uncertainty shock triggered by the US election outcome sent investment and consumer sentiment to record-low levels in January, the Mexican economy’s fundamentals look stronger than anticipated.

The economy expanded a seasonally adjusted 0.6 percent on quarter in the first three months of 2017, following a 0.7 percent growth in the previous period, but beating market expectations of a flat reading. The growth was driven by a faster expansion in the services sector (1 percent vs 0.8 percent in Q4) and a rebound in agriculture (0.7 percent vs - 0.3 percent). However, industrial output was unchanged from the previous period, after growing slightly by 0.2 percent in Q4.

Recent trade data showed exports jumped 11.2 percent year-on-year in Q1. Manufacturing exports climbed 9.2 percent and oil exports surged 58.1 percent benefitting mainly by a favorable FX comparison in annual terms and by high double-digit growth in exports to countries other than the US.

The Markit Mexico Manufacturing PMI increased to 51.5 in March 2017 from 50.6 in February, reaching a five-month high. The print pointed to the strongest expansion in manufacturing activity since October of 2016, as new orders, output and stocks of inputs rose.

Also, consumer confidence has improved to 81.5 in March 2017, continuing to bounce back from January’s record-low of 69.9 backed by a stronger peso, the increase in the minimum wage in early 2017, and by the fading effects of gasoline price hikes.




Friday April 28 2017
Mexico Economy Grows 2.7% YoY In Q1
INEGI | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

The Mexican economy expanded a non-seasonally adjusted 2.7 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2017, following a 2.4 percent growth in the previous period and above market expectations of 2 percent, a preliminary estimate showed. Services and agriculture grew further and industrial output rebounded.

The services sector advanced 3.7 percent, faster than 3.4 percent in the fourth quarter and agriculture jumped 6.9 percent, following a 6.4 percent gain in the previous period. Also, industrial production edged up 0.2 percent, after showing no growth in the previous three months. 

On a quarterly basis, the economy grew a seasonally adjusted 0.6 percent, below 0.7 percent in the previous quarter but higher than market expectations of a flat reading. 


Thursday April 27 2017
Mexico Trade Balance Swings To Deficit In March
INEGI |Luisa Carvalho | luisa.carvalho@tradingeconomics.com

Mexico recorded a trade deficit of USD 183 million in March of 2017, compared to a USD 87.2 million trade surplus a year earlier and below market expectations of a USD 950 million surplus. It is the highest trade gap for a March month since 2007, as exports advanced 14.1 percent and imports grew at a slightly faster 15 percent.

Exports rose 14.1 percent year-on-year to USD 35.93 billion, following a 8 percent rise in February and marking the fifth straight annual gain. Non-oil sales which account for 95.2 percent of total exports increased 13.2 percent while non-oil sales jumped 34.7 percent.

Exports of manufactured products advanced 13.9 percent, boosted by sales of steel products (27.3 percent); food, beverages and tobacco (22 percent); autos (18.7 percent); electrical and electronic equipment (17.3 percent) and special machinery and equipment for industries (11.6 percent). Also, shipments of agricultural and fishery grew 4.2 percent, mainly citrus (78.5 percent), avocados (50.2 percent), fruits and edible fruits (42 percent) and vegetables and fresh vegetables (7.3 percent).

Exports to the United States grew 11.8 percent, accounting for more than 80 percent of total non-oil shipments. Auto sales rose 17.7 percent, accounting for more than 27 percent , while exports of other products increased 9 percent. Sales to the rest of the world rose 20 percent, with autos increasing by 24.5 percent and other products going up by 18.4 percent.

Imports picked up 15 percent to USD 36.11 billion, following a 2.8 percent increase in the previous month and also marking the fifth consecutive yearly rise. Purchases of consumption goods advanced 19.2 percent and those of intermediate goods and capital goods rose 14.8 percent and 14.5 percent, respectively. 

On a seasonally adjusted basis, exports advanced 0.10 percent to USD 33.66 billion, led by a 0.78 percent increase in non-oil sales while oil shipments fell 10.29 percent. Imports went up 2.81 percent to USD 35.06 billion, widening the trade deficit to USD 1.410 billion.


Friday April 21 2017
Mexico Jobless Rate Lowest Since 2007
Luisa Carvalho | luisa.carvalho@tradingeconomics.com

The unemployment rate in Mexico decreased to 3.2 percent in March of 2017 from 3.74 percent a year earlier and in line with market expectations. It is the lowest jobless rate since December of 2007. On a seasonally adjusted basis, it fell to 3.2 percent from 3.4 percent in February.

Compared to a year earlier, the unemployment rate declined for both men (3 percent from 3.8 percent) and women (3.5 percent from 3.6 percent). Among unemployed people, 17.4 percent had not completed secondary education and 82.6 percent had a higher education.

Those underemployed accounted for 6.5 percent of total employed, less than 7.3 percent a year earlier. 

The participation rate increased to 59.35 percent from 58.95 percent in March of 2016.