Mexico: Trade deficit widens to largest in over four years
March 11, 2013
In January, the trade balance posted a deficit of USD 2.9 billion. The figure was larger that the USD 274 million shortfall observed in the same month last year and contrasted market expectations of a USD 220 million surplus. Building on the negative reading, the moving 12-month sum of the trade balance swung from a USD 163 million surplus in December to a USD 2.5 billion deficit in January.
The wider deficit was the result of imports outpacing exports. Imports jumped 9.5% over the same month last year in January, which was well above the mere 0.2% growth tallied in December. Despite the strong increase, the 12-month sum of imports moderated to a 5.5% rise, which was below the 5.7% increase recorded in December.
Meanwhile, exports moderated to a flat growth, which came in below the 3.6% expansion seen in December, mainly reflected a decline in manufacturing exports. As a result, in the 12 months up to January, exports grew 5.4%, which was well below the 6.2% expansion seen in December.
LatinFocus Consensus Forecast panellists expect exports to expand 7.0% in 2013. For next year, the panel projects export growth to accelerate to 8.3%.