Mexico's economy seen posting 0% growth in second quarter

FILE PHOTO: A woman buys vegetables at a market stall in Mexico City, Mexico February 22, 2019. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril/File Photo

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico’s economy likely did not grow in the second quarter, weighed down by a slump in industrial production, declining investment and a weakening of the vast services sector, according to a Reuters survey published on Friday.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in Latin America's second largest economy is seen at 0.0% in the second quarter versus the previous three-month period, in seasonally adjusted terms, according to the median forecast of 12 analysts. MXGDQP=ECI

“Whether or not the number is above or below zero, the economy is extremely weak. GDP has hardly grown at all over the last 18 months or so,” said William Jackson, chief emerging markets economist at Capital Economics.

Mexico’s economy already shrank 0.2% in the first quarter versus the previous three-month period, in seasonally adjusted terms, and was flat in the fourth quarter of 2018.

In non-seasonally adjusted annual terms, Mexico’s economy is seen expanding 0.5% in the second quarter, in what would be its weakest performance since the fourth quarter of 2009, according to the poll.

The analysts forecast 0.8% GDP growth for all of 2019 and 1.4% in 2020.

The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday lowered its estimate for Mexico’s economic growth to 0.9% for 2019, down from its forecast of 1.6% three months ago.

Preliminary data for Mexico’s second-quarter growth is due to be published on July 31 by the INEGI statistics agency.

Some private economists predict a second straight quarter of contraction, sparking a debate over whether that would put Mexico into recession.

Reporting by Miguel Angel Gutierrez; Additional reporting by Abraham Gonzalez, Anthony Esposito and Noe Torres; Editing by Richard Chang