(Updates with finance ministry statement)
ACAPULCO, Mexico, April 7 Mexico's President
Felipe Calderon raised the forecast for the country's growth
this year to 4.3 percent as a recovery in the United States is
helping to spur the economy of its southern neighbor.
"The (original) forecast ... was 3.8 percent for 2011. Today
the finance ministry is adjusting its forecast to 4.3 percent,"
for the year, Calderon told a banking convention in the resort
city of Acapulco.
The finance ministry had already raised its growth
expectations to 4.0 percent this month.
The new figure is in line with expectations of analysts
polled by the central bank at the beginning of this month who
saw 2011 economic growth at 4.25 percent.
The decision to raise the estimate was based on stronger
economic output figures in January 2011 compared to the end of
last year, accelerating external demand and positive domestic
demand, the finance ministry said in a statement.
Increased employment, with 230,721 jobs created by the end
of March compared to December last year, is also boosting
growth, the statement said.
Mexico's annual inflation rate slowed more than expected in
March to its lowest level in nearly five years, giving the
central bank ample room to keep borrowing costs on hold while
the economy strengthens.
"The inflation rate of 3.0 percent in March is fully in-line
with the Central Bank's inflation target," the ministry
Mexico's Finance Minister Ernesto Cordero, speaking at the
Reuters Latin American Investment Summit last week, said
improved prospects for growth in the United States were now
boosting Mexico's own outlook.
Cordero also said last month that Mexico's 2011 growth could
exceed the 5.5 percent rate clocked in 2010, the fastest seen in
(Reporting by Cyntia Barrera and Elinor Comlay; Editig by Kim