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Mexico economic growth holds steady

Increased farm output and services led Mexico's economy to grow, while the gross domestic product grew at a rate of 0.7%
Different varieties of corn grain displayed at a Mexico City market - Photo: Henry Romero/REUTERS
22/05/2017
12:00
Reuters
Mexico
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Increased farm output and services led Mexico's economy to grow at the same clip in the first quarter as in the previous three-month period, shrugging off fears that Donald Trump's presidency would quickly cause havoc to Mexican exports and investment.

The country's gross domestic product grew at a rate of 0.7%, the same pace as in the fourth quarter, according to seasonally adjusted data from National Statistics Agency (INEGI) on Monday.

The election of Donald Trump last year raised the specter of recession in Mexico as he threatened to shred the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and pursue policies that could hurt the Mexican economy. This sent the country's peso into a tailspin and prompted some economists to lower growth forecasts.

Nonetheless, slow progress in starting NAFTA talks and an overall softening of rhetoric about U.S. companies that invest in Mexico have calmed nerves for now.

Compared with the first quarter of 2016, GDP expanded 2.8%.

Growth was higher than preliminary figures released last month, which projected quarter-on-quarter growth of 0.6%. The preliminary data showed the economy growing at an annual rate of 2.7% for the quarter.

Mexico's government has put 2017 growth between 1.3 and 2.3%t, and officials said last month the range remained unchanged for now, but would be looked at again after Monday's publication of final GDP figures.

The data showed Mexico's agricultural sector expanded 1.1% in the first quarter, compared with growth of 0.6% in the fourth quarter, while the services sector expanded 1 percent from 0.9 percent in the previous three-month period.

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