April 29, 2014 / 2:26 AM / 4 years ago

UPDATE 1-Mexico raises infrastructure spending target

(Adds breakdown on spending)

MEXICO CITY, April 28 (Reuters) - Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto on Monday raised his goal for infrastructure spending to 7.7 trillion pesos ($587 billion) by 2018, in a bid to boost growth in Latin America’s number 2 economy.

The new target, which includes both public and private investment, is nearly twice the 4 trillion peso goal announced by Pena Nieto last July for his term in office, which ends in four years.

“With bigger and better infrastructure, there are more opportunities to attract productive investment, generate jobs and improve families’ income,” Pena Nieto said at an event in Mexico City.

“At the end of this administration, we want a country with better communication, with roads in a good state and high quality highways.”

A spokesman for the communication and transportation ministry said public spending would account for more than 4.8 billion pesos of the total while over 2.8 billion pesos would come from the private sector.

Over 1.32 trillion pesos of the investment should go to communication and transportation, the President said, while the government expects funds of nearly 3.9 trillion pesos to flow into the energy sector.

Part of Pena Nieto’s plan to boost growth involves a raft of structural reforms approved last year, including an overhaul of the energy sector that allows private investment and a bid to boost competition in the telecommunications industry.

The pace of growth slowed to a four-year low of 1.1 percent last year but analysts polled by the central bank expect the economy to expand by 3.09 percent in 2014. ($1 = 13.1267 Mexican Pesos) (Reporting By Alexandra Alper; Editing by Ken Wills)

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