* Retailers upbeat about November spending
* Industrial output worse than expected in October
MEXICO CITY Dec 19 Mexican retail sales
fell 1.0 percent in October compared with the
previous month, clouding the outlook for Latin America's
second-biggest economy in the fourth quarter.
The figures from the national statistics office on Wednesday
showed the first monthly decline in sales in three months, and
were in line with economists' expectations.
This followed an unexpectedly weak reading for industrial
output in October.
However, better days could lie ahead as consumer confidence
rose for a second straight month in November, and Mexican auto
production also rose strongly during the month.
Compared with the same month a year earlier, retail sales
rose 3.5 percent, the statistics office said. Economists polled
by Reuters had forecast sales would drop 1.0 percent
month-on-month and rise 3.4 percent year-on-year.
A recent spike in annual inflation to a 2-1/2-year high in
September may have hurt spending.
Since then, however, the inflation rate has begun cooling,
and the latest monthly poll of analysts by Mexico's central bank
published on Wednesday saw price pressures in 2013 slightly
lower than previously forecast.
Retailers' association ANTAD said on Nov. 25 that sales
during a campaign to boost consumer spending during the month
had been strong, and Alberto Ramos, an economist at Goldman
Sachs, said he expected retail sales to rebound again in
The central bank poll of economists, banks and brokerages
saw 2013 year-end inflation coming in at 3.69 percent, down from
a prior estimate of 3.77 percent. Inflation was seen closing
this year at 4.0 percent, the survey showed.
Mexico's economic growth slowed in the third quarter to its
slowest pace in 1-1/2 years, recording 0.5 percent expansion
compared with the prior quarter.
Still, the government expects the economy to post a 3.9
percent annual growth rate in 2012.
Next year, growth will likely ease to just under 3.5
percent, the central bank survey showed.