July 29, 2019 / 1:08 PM / 21 days ago

Mexico is not in recession, economy is improving: president

Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador attends a news conference at the National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico July 22, 2019. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Monday the country was not in recession and that the economy was performing increasingly well, rejecting concerns that it may have contracted for two consecutive quarters.

Mexico’s national statistics agency is on Wednesday due to publish a preliminary estimate for the economy’s performance during the second quarter, after a weak start to the year that has left the country close to a technical recession.

“There is no recession,” Lopez Obrador told his regular morning news conference. “We’re doing well economically, and the economic and social situation in our country is getting better and better,” he added. “There’s no risk for the economy.”

Gross domestic product (GDP) contracted by 0.2% quarter-on-quarter in the January-March period, and subsequent data showed the economy grew by 0.1% in April and was flat in May. How the economy performed in June may therefore prove decisive.

There is no established global definition for a recession, but one is usually defined by economic experts as two consecutive quarters of contraction in GDP.

The government has, however, pushed back against the suggestion that the country is in a slump.

Reporting by Dave Graham; Editing by Nick Zieminski

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