Mexico's GDP expected to contract 17.7% in second quarter: poll

FILE PHOTO: People walk past a building undergoing construction in Mexico City, Mexico January 30, 2020. REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico’s economy is expected to contract at historic levels in the second quarter after measures intended to curb the spread of the coronavirus hammered economic activity, according to a Reuters poll of analysts.

Among 13 analysts surveyed by Reuters, the median estimate was for a seasonally adjusted 17.7% drop in gross domestic product (GDP) in the April-June period compared to the first quarter, when the economy contracted by 1.2%.

If the economy shrinks as projected, it would mark the steepest drop in Mexico’s GDP since at least early 1993, the oldest period for which data is available from the country’s national statistics institute INEGI.

In April and May, much of the country’s economic activity was suspended due to measures imposed by the government to confront the pandemic. Mexico has registered 390,516 total infections and 43,680 deaths so far.

Analysts polled by Reuters expected the GDP to contract by 19.6% in the second quarter when compared with the year-ago period.

Over the course of 2020, the analysts expected Mexico’s GDP to decline by 10.1% - up from a contraction of 9% predicted by analysts in a Reuters poll earlier this month.

INEGI will release an estimate of second quarter GDP on Thursday.

Reporting by Miguel Angel Gutierrez; additional reporting by Gabriel Burin in Buenos Aires; editing by Jonathan Oatis