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.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist