Mexico city at goldenhour

Mexico Trade March 2018

Mexico: Merchandise trade records stronger-than-expected surplus in March

The merchandise trade surplus widened to USD 1.9 billion in March from USD 1.1 billion in February, underpinned by a pick-up in manufacturing exports and solid global trade dynamics. March’s trade performance surprised market analysts who had penciled in a much weaker USD 326 million surplus. The gains add to a string of data releases that suggest the economy gained traction in Q1, buttressed by robust growth in the United States and gradually waning domestic headwinds.

External demand remained robust in March, with export growth expanding 10.0% in annual terms, easing slightly from the 12.3% increase recorded in February. Exports in March totaled USD 39.7 billion. The healthy print came on the back of a solid performance in auto exports, which eased slightly from February but still grew a robust 16.8% in March amid healthy U.S. production levels (February: +17.9% year-on-year). Overall, manufacturing exports recorded a 7.5% expansion in March (February: +10.5% yoy).

Meanwhile, import growth was weak across the board in March. Non-oil consumer imports—a proxy for domestic private consumption—moderated sizably. Non-oil intermediate imports—which are closely linked with manufacturing activity—eased from double-digit growth. Similarly, capital imports, a proxy for investment, tapered from a 20.1% increase in February to a meager 3.4% expansion to March. Overall import growth ebbed to 4.5% annually in March from 11.7% in February, totaling USD 37.7 billion.

The 12-month trailing trade deficit narrowed to USD 9.5 billion in March from USD 11.5 billion in February, below the USD 11.9 billion deficit recorded in March 2017.

Free sample report

Access essential information in the shortest time possible. FocusEconomics provide hundreds of consensus forecast reports from the most reputable economic research authorities in the world.
Close Left Media Arrows Left Media Circles Right Media Arrows Right Media Circles Arrow Quote Wave Address Email Telephone Man in front of screen with line chart Document with bar chart and magnifying glass Application window with bar chart Target with arrow Line Chart Stopwatch Globe with arrows Document with bar chart in front of screen Bar chart with magnifying glass and dollar sign Lightbulb Document with bookmark Laptop with download icon Calendar Icon Nav Menu Arrow Arrow Right Long Icon Arrow Right Icon Chevron Right Icon Chevron Left Icon Briefcase Icon Linkedin In Icon Full Linkedin Icon Filter Facebook Linkedin Twitter Pinterest