- Planetary alignment peaks with celestial show this weekend
- UK fighters escort Pakistan plane to airport, two arrests
- Arizona jury foreman says believed Jodi Arias was abused
- Judge rules against 'America's toughest sheriff' in racial profiling lawsuit
- Sixth night of violence in Sweden, but police say capital calmer |
UPDATE 2-Mexico jobless rate falls to pre-recession low in Sept
* Sept s/a jobless rate falls to 4.66 pct; poll 4.82 pct
* Lowest since October 2008, before financial crisis hit
* Headline jobless rate falls to 5.01 pct; poll 5.25 pct
MEXICO CITY, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Mexico's jobless rate fell to its lowest in nearly four years in September, a positive sign for growth in Latin America's number two economy after a softening around mid-year.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell more than expected to 4.66 percent last month, the national statistics agency said on Friday - the lowest since October 2008, before a deep recession kicked unemployment up to just short of 6 percent.
September's result was below the 4.82 percent expected in a Reuters poll and lower than the previous month's downwardly-revised 4.86 percent, providing a contrast to falling consumer confidence and retail sales.
Nomura economist Benito Berber said the data bodes well for fourth quarter growth, but cautioned against reading too much into a number that represents only those Mexicans employed in the formal sector -- roughly half the work force.
"If you have more people employed in September, chances are they are going to remain employed in October and that works well for spending," he said. "Let's see if it is confirmed by retail sales."
Analysts also played down the potential pressure a tighter labor market may put on inflation, which is running at 2-1/2 year highs due to a spike in fresh food prices.
"I doubt that unemployment is low enough to trigger any real pick up in wage growth which you would need to see for inflation to really get entrenched," said Capital Economics economist David Rees.
Salary growth accelerated slightly in September, recording a 4.97 percent increase over the same period a year earlier, according to central bank data.
The Banco de Mexico has held benchmark interest rates at 4.5 percent since mid-2009 but warned at its last meeting that it could raise rates if inflation pressures became widespread.
But economists see no rate rise until 2014 as weakening U.S. labor and factory activity has begun to drag on Mexican growth.
The economy grew at a more than 4 percent rate in the first half of 2012 but Finance Minister Jose Antonio Meade has estimated the economy will grow between 3.5 percent and 4 percent in total in both 2012 and 2013.
The raw jobless rate was 5.01 percent in September, the statistics agency said. Analysts had expected that figure to fall to 5.25 percent from 5.39 percent in August.
Reforms to labor law currently before the Mexican Senate would make it easier for employers to hire and fire workers in a move supporters say will boost employment.
The draft law, which passed the lower house last month, was put forward by outgoing President Felipe Calderon, of the pro-business National Action Party (PAN) but backed by incoming president Enrique Pena Nieto's Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this