Mexico’s economy grows slightly above forecasts in third quarter

(Reuters) -Mexico’s economy grew 1.1% in the third quarter from the previous three-month period, national statistics agency INEGI said on Friday, slightly above preliminary estimates disclosed by INEGI a month ago and a Refinitiv poll at 0.9%.

The Mexican economy grew 3.3% in the quarter on an annual basis, in line with expectations, according to a Reuters poll.

A breakdown of the GDP figures showed that all sectors grew on a quarter-on-quarter basis. Primary activities such as farming, fishing and mining saw the strongest gain at 2.6%. The secondary sector, which covers manufacturing, grew 1.3% and the tertiary or services sector grew 0.9%.

Andres Abadia, chief Latin America economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said industrial activity was the main driver of the increase in GDP. This was supported by nearshoring and rising infrastructure spending, and a decent manufacturing recovery.

The final data confirmed a “better-than-expected start to H2”, due to solid labour market conditions, gradually falling inflation and increased public and private investment, Abadia also added.

Mexico’s central bank kept interest rates steady at 11.25% this month, where they have sat since March after a nearly two-year tightening cycle.

Central bank governor Victoria Rodriguez has ruled out cuts to the key rate for the rest of 2023, but opened the door for the board to begin discussing possible cuts ahead.

(Reporting by Natalia Siniawski; Editing by Christina Fincher, Mark Porter and Sharon Singleton)