UPDATE 1-Worst of Mexico recession over - OECD head

Tue Jun 16, 2009 12:58pm EDT

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(Adds quote, GDP expectations, background)

MEXICO CITY, June 16 (Reuters) - Mexico has passed through the worst of its current recession, said the head of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Jose Angel Gurria on Tuesday.

"The strongest, the most important, the most negative of growth or deceleration of the economy, of exports, of industrial production, of employment, etcetera, the most severe has already been seen," Gurria said at a press conference.

The collapse of demand for locally-made exports in the United States has driven Mexico into its deepest recession since 1995 and the government expects the economy to contract by 5.5 percent this year.

Mexico's economy tumbled 8.2 percent during the first three months of the year and is expected to contract at a similar pace during the second quarter. (Reporting by Luis Rojas Mena; Editing by Diane Craft)

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