Mexico’s factory exports suffered their biggest fall in over two years in May, pointing to weaker demand from its main trade partner, the United States, though a jump in non-oil consumer imports pointed to more robust spending at home.
Manufactured exports fell 6.6 percent in May compared with April in seasonally adjusted terms, the national statistics office said on Friday, the biggest decline since January 2013.
Auto exports slid 3.51 percent, while non-auto exports from Latin America’s No. 2 economy tumbled by 8.14 percent.
Mexico exports mostly manufactured products, such as televisions and cars, versus reliance on raw materials like iron and soy beans elsewhere in the region. Nearly 80 percent of exports head to the United States.
The data showed non-oil consumer imports rose in May by 7.4 percent from April, marking the fastest expansion since May 2010 and pointing to stronger consumer demand.
A sharp slump in the peso to a record low earlier this year has made imports more costly.
Mexico’s economy grew at its slowest pace in over a year in the first quarter, undermined by flagging oil revenue and weak U.S. growth.
Mexico posted a $1.803 billion trade deficit in May when adjusted for seasonal swings, the statistics agency said. In non-seasonally adjusted terms, Mexico posted a trade deficit of $1.017 billion.
Separate data showed Mexico’s adjusted jobless rate ticked up in May by a tenth of a percentage point from the previous month to 4.4 percent, the highest rate since February.
(Reporting by Alexandra Alper; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)
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