MEXICO CITY, June 17 Mexico's economy should
accelerate in the second quarter as solid growth in the auto
industry boosts its manufacturing sector, the country's finance
minister said on Monday.
"We think growth of 3.5 (percent) in the second quarter is
clearly attainable," Mexican Finance Minister Luis Videgaray
said in an interview with local radio. "Car production (data)
indicates that we're moving in that direction."
Annual economic growth slowed to just 0.8 percent in the
first quarter, its weakest in three years, prompting the
government to cut its 2013 growth estimate.
Mexico's growing auto industry, the eighth largest in the
world, is a key component of its booming manufacturing sector.
The national auto industry is expected to produce a new record
of between 3.15 million and 3.2 million light vehicles in 2013.
First-quarter growth was crimped by economic weakness in the
United States, Mexico's main trading partner, as well as a slump
in public sector expenditure.
Mexico's economy grew 0.45 percent in the first quarter
compared with the final quarter of last year,
according to the national statistics agency.