Mexico: Consumer sentiment retreats markedly in February
March 5, 2013
In February, the unadjusted index of consumer confidence published by the statistical institute (INEGI) fell to 95.5 points from 100.0 points in January, which had marked the highest confidence level recorded since March 2008. The reading surprised the market on the downside, as analysts had the index edging down only to 99.1 points. As a result of the decline, the consumer sentiment is now only 1.9% higher than in the same month last year, which represents a deterioration over the 4.8% increase seen in January.
Four out of the five sub-categories that compose the index fared worse compared to the previous month. In particular, respondent's assessment about their households' present situation dropped 0.7% over the same month last year, which contrasted the 5.0% increase recorded in January. Only households' willingness to purchase durable goods improved in February.
A month-on-month comparison corroborates the deterioration suggested by the annual figures, as consumer sentiment dropped 0.5% in seasonally adjusted terms, which followed the 0.8% drop seen in the previous month.
LatinFocus Consensus Forecast panellists expect private consumption to grow 3.6% this year, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month's projections. For next year, the panel sees private consumption expanding 4.1%.