February 23, 2013 / 2:05 AM / in 5 years

Mexico's foreign direct investment fell 34.9 pct last year -government

MEXICO CITY, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Foreign direct investment, or FDI, in Mexico fell 34.9 percent year-on-year in 2012 to $12.7 billion, preliminary figures from the Economy Ministry showed on Friday.

FDI is a measure of investment in businesses and factories, as opposed to foreign portfolio investment in assets such as stocks and bonds.

The data showed investment from the United States, Mexico’s top trading partner, made up 58.5 percent of the 2012 flows. The manufacturing sector, one of Mexico’s key industries, received the biggest share of the funds, at 55.7 percent.

Growth in Latin America’s second-biggest economy picked up in the fourth quarter, growing twice as fast as in the third, data released this month showed. Full-year growth reached 3.9 percent in 2012.

The economy is seen losing steam in the first half of 2013 amid fears that U.S. tax hikes and spending cuts will sap demand for Mexican exports, which had been supporting growth.

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