Mexico Trade February 2019

Mexico

Mexico: Trade surplus hides downbeat manufacturing in February

March 27, 2019

Merchandise trade recorded a sizable USD 1.2 billion surplus in February, up from the USD 0.9 billion windfall registered in the same month a year ago and in line with analysts’ expectations. Despite the rosy headline, February’s surplus was almost entirely due to a drop in oil imports related to the transitory bottlenecks arising from efforts to halt fuel theft. Moreover, the result contrasted the USD 4.8 billion deficit recorded in January.

Export growth on an annual basis slid to 3.5% from 5.7% in January, hurt by manufacturing exports. For its part, automotive-sector export growth fell sharply from a month earlier. Import growth, meanwhile, fell to 2.7% from 6.1% in January. Intermediate-good import growth—typically, a bellwether for manufacturing output—slipped from a month earlier. On the upside, consumer-good import growth ticked higher.

As such, the 12-month trailing trade deficit narrowed to USD 13.8 billion from USD 14.1 billion in January.

LatinFocus analysts expect exports to reach USD 479 billion in 2019, which would represent a 6.2% year-on-year expansion. Meanwhile, imports are expected to expand 6.2% and reach USD 493 billion. For 2020, the panel expects exports and imports to grow 6.8% and 6.3%, respectively.


Author:, Economist

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Mexico Trade Chart


Mexico Trade12m February 2019

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 Statistical Institute (INEGI)


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