MEXICO CITY, April 1 Mexican factory activity
growth slowed for the third month in a row in March to its
weakest pace of expansion since the start of last year, a survey
showed on Monday.
The HSBC Mexico Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index
(PMI) dipped to 52.2 in March, its lowest reading
in 14 months, down from 53.4 in February, after adjusting for
Although the reading above 50 showed continued expansion,
output growth hit its lowest since April 2011, the start of the
data series, while price inflation for factory parts eased
sharply from an eight-month peak in February.
Manufacturing exports are equivalent to about 25 percent of
Mexico's gross domestic product (GDP) and the country has been
shielded from a weak global economy by continued U.S. demand for
goods such as cars and televisions.
Mexico's growth is seen slowing this year to around 3.5
percent from 3.9 percent in 2012 due to weaker U.S. demand.
HSBC economist Sergio Martin said he expected growth of only
3.2 percent in 2013, noting the data "suggests that the loss of
momentum in the manufacturing sector will prevail in the first
quarter of 2013."
The PMI index, compiled by Markit, is composed of five
sub-indexes tracking changes in new orders, output, employment,
suppliers' delivery times and stocks of raw materials and