Mexico Trade January 2016


Mexico: Trade deficit remains underwhelming in January

February 26, 2016

In January, the trade balance incurred a deficit of USD 3.4 billion, which was broadly similar than the trade deficit registered in the same month last year (January 2014: USD 3.3 billion deficit) and the USD 3.3 billion shortfall than the markets had expected. In cumulative terms, the trade deficit continued to deteriorate: The rolling 12-month sum of the trade deficit up to January totaled USD 14.6 billion, which is the widest deficit since 2009.

The deterioration in the trade balance in January stemmed from yet another decrease in exports. Mexico’s overseas sales totaled USD 24.5 billion in January which marked a 7.6% decrease over the same month last year. The reading followed the 9.3% contraction observed in December and marked a streak of seven months of contraction. On the other side of the balance, imports were USD 28.0 billion in January (December: USD 31.9 billion), which were down 6.2% in annual terms.

In 2015, as a whole, exports totaled USD 381 billion, which compared to the USD 397 billion registered in 2014 represented a 4.1% contraction. Meanwhile, imports totaled USD 395 billion in 2015, which represented a 1.2% decrease over 2014. The contraction in exports and imports in 2015 is the first since 2009.

Panelists surveyed for this month’s LatinFocus report expect exports to reach USD 409 billion in 2016, which will represent a 8.1% expansion compared to the previous year. Meanwhile, imports are expected to expand 8.4% and reach USD 422 billion. For 2017, the panel expects exports and imports to increase 6.9% and 6.4%, respectively.

Author:, Senior Economist

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Mexico Trade Chart

Mexico Trade12m January 2016

Note: 12-month sum of trade balance in USD billion and annual variation of the 12-month sum of exports and imports in %.
Source: Mexico National Statistics Institute (INEGI)

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