MEXICO CITY Oct 11 (Reuters) - Mexican industrial output rose in August versus the previous month at the fastest pace in six months as construction and manufacturing strengthened, welcome news as growth sputters in Latin America's no. 2 economy.
August industrial activity rose 0.49 percent versus July, beating forecasts in a Reuters poll for a 0.30 percent rise, the national statistics agency said on Friday.
The figure was above the upwardly revised 0.15 percent expansion in July, and marked the strongest pace since February.
Mexico's factories have traditionally moved in near lock step with the U.S. manufacturing sector, which surged in August as the pace of motor vehicle assemblies jumped to a six-year high.
Manufacturing, the main component of industrial output as measured by the national statistics agency, rose 0.37 percent compared to the prior month, while construction grew 0.44 percent compared to July.
Manufactured goods are by far the biggest component of Mexican exports.
Solid U.S. demand supported Mexican factories amid sluggish global growth last year, allowing Mexico to notch 3.9 percent growth in 2012, but the pace of expansion is seen slowing this year.
Industrial output fell 0.7 percent in August from a year earlier as other components of industrial output, including construction and mining, weakened compared with the year-ago month.
August's industrial output figure, as compared with a year earlier, beat expectations for a 0.85 percent contraction and was below July's upwardly revised 0.2 percent dip.