Mexico: Manufacturing sentiment moderates in February
March 4, 2013
In February, the seasonally-adjusted IMEF manufacturing index dropped to 52.1 points from a revised 53.0 points (previously reported: 53.3 points) in January. The reading was just line with market expectations and, despite the decline, manufacturing sentiment remains above the 50-point threshold, which indicates that the sector continues to expand.
Four out of the five sub-categories that compose the index decreased compared to January, in particular employment, which dropped to its lowest level in 16 months. In fact, only the inventories sub-index improved compared to the preceding month.
Meanwhile, the ISM manufacturing index in the United States reached 54.2 points in February from a revised 53.1 points in January, which represents its highest level in 20 months. The reading suggests improving conditions for the American manufacturers, which, given the integration with their Mexican counterparts, is positive news also for manufacturers south of the U.S. border.
LatinFocus Consensus Forecast panellists anticipate Mexican industrial production to increase 3.5% this year, which is unchanged over the previous month's projection. For next year, panellists see industrial production expanding 4.1%.