Mexico Trade March 2016


Mexico: Weakness persists in Mexico's external sector

April 26, 2016

In March, the trade balance showed a surplus of USD 155 million, which represented a mild improvement over the USD 725 million deficit registered in the previous month. A year-on-year comparison, however, showed that March’s surplus was below the USD 470 million surplus registered in the same month last year, which indicates that growth in exports continues to falter.

Exports contracted 7.5% annually in March, which marked a faster decrease relative to the 2.3% contraction observed in February and the ninth consecutive month of negative growth in Mexico’s shipments abroad. On the other side of the balance, imports swung from a 2.3% increase in February to a 6.7% contraction in March, which represented the sharpest contraction since October 2009.

Although March’s trade surplus was better than the USD 250 million deficit the markets had expected, the 12-month trailing deficit continued to widen to multi-year highs. The accumulated trade deficit in the 12 months up to March was USD 16.3 billion (February: USD 16.0 billion), which marked the highest trade shortfall since July 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 March 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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