UPDATE 1-Mexico's 2012 economy likely grew by 4 pct -ministry

Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:44pm EST

MEXICO CITY Jan 30 (Reuters) - Mexican annual economic growth likely picked up to about 3.6 percent in the fourth quarter and appeared to post a 4.0 percent rate during 2012, the finance ministry said on Wednesday.

Mexico's economy slowed in the third quarter last year to a 3.3 percent rate compared with the same period in 2011. The pickup in growth in the fourth quarter helped the economy expand in 2012 to just above the 3.9 percent rate recorded in 2011.

Surprisingly strong U.S. demand for Mexican-made cars and televisions has supported Latin America's No. 2 economy amid sluggish global growth.

Mexico's public sector ran a fiscal deficit of 199.2 billion pesos ($15.7 billion) in December, the Finance Ministry added.