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Fitch lowers Mexico's 2019 economic growth forecast to 1.6 percent

MEXICO CITY, March 20 (Reuters) - Fitch Ratings reduced its 2019 forecast for Mexico’s economic growth to 1.6 percent from 2.1 percent on Wednesday, the latest agency to pare expectations for Latin America’s second-biggest economy after a slowdown at the end of last year.

Fitch cited persistent trends hampering growth including a decline in oil output, slowing job creation and a fall in government spending.

Fitch also said business confidence has suffered under the policy uncertainty of leftist President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who took office in December.

Mexico’s economy grew 2.0 percent last year, down a tenth of a percentage point from 2017, according to the national statistics agency. The government is forecasting 2.0 percent growth for 2019.

Mexico’s Central Bank and Wall Street bank Goldman Sachs both lowered their forecasts last month, after data showed the Mexican economy grew by just 0.2 percent in the fourth quarter from the previous three-month period. (Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon and Sharay Angulo; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)