Mexican Economy Maintains Growth in First Quarter

By Anthony Harrup Features Dow Jones Newswires

Mexico's economy kept up steady growth in the first quarter, expanding for a 15th consecutive period despite concerns that strained trade and investment relations with the U.S. will bring about a sharp slowdown.

Continue Reading Below

Gross domestic product, which measures output of goods and services, grew 0.6% seasonally adjusted from the fourth quarter of 2016, and was up 2.7% from the year-earlier period, the National Statistics Institute said Friday. The quarterly increase, which translates into an annualized rate of 2.4%, was down slightly from 0.7% in the previous quarter.

Services continued to be the main driver of growth in the January-March period, rising 1% from the previous quarter, while industrial production was unchanged.

The 2.7% expansion from a year earlier was boosted by the shift in the Easter holiday to April this year, as economic activity tends to slow sharply during that week. Adjusted for calendar and other seasonal effects, output increased 2.5% from the first quarter of 2016.

The statistics institute is scheduled to release its next report on first-quarter GDP on May 22.

Mexico's economic growth has been modest but steady for more than three years. The last time output contracted was in the second quarter of 2013.

Continue Reading Below

The election of U.S. President Donald Trump led economists to lower expectations for growth as Mr. Trump seeks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, and is critical of U.S. companies moving factories to Mexico and then exporting the production to the U.S.

The economy has so far proven more resilient than many expected, and a number of analysts have recently begun raising their forecasts. GDP grew 2.3% in 2016.

Write to Anthony Harrup at anthony.harrup@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 28, 2017 09:44 ET (13:44 GMT)