UPDATE 1-Mexican jobless rate ticks up in March

Fri Apr 19, 2013 9:12am EDT

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* Adjusted jobless rate 5.01 pct, above 4.91 pct in poll

* Headline unadjusted rate 4.51

MEXICO CITY, April 19 (Reuters) - Mexico's seasonally adjusted jobless rate ticked up in March, fanning concerns of sluggish growth in Latin America's No. 2 economy.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate notched 5.01 percent last month, the national statistics agency said on Friday, above expectations for a 4.91 percent rate in a Reuters poll.

March's rate was also above a downwardly revised 4.74 percent unemployment rate for February.

Unemployment has fallen back from rates near 6 percent seen during a deep recession in 2009 but has not reached pre-crisis rates below 4 percent.

Stable demand for Mexican goods in the United States has sheltered the Mexican economy from the worst of the recent global slowdown but growth has started to ease.

Mexico has forecast growth of 3.5 percent this year, down from 3.9 percent in 2012.

The central bank cut its benchmark interest rate to an all-time low of 4 percent in early March in what was seen as a bid to tamp down the appeal of the currency and boost flagging growth.

The headline unadjusted unemployment rate was 4.51 percent in March, below the 4.7 percent expected in the poll and down from the 4.85 percent notched the month prior.


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