Mexico Confirms Its Economy Rebounded in Third Quarter

11/26/2020 | 08:09am

By Anthony Harrup

MEXICO CITY -- Mexico's economy bounced back in the third quarter, led by increases in industrial output as business reopened from shutdowns to slow the spread of the coronavirus, but activity remained well below its year-earlier level, revised data show.

Gross domestic product, a measure of output in goods and services, expanded a seasonally adjusted 12.1% in the July-September period following a record 17% contraction in the second quarter, the National Statistics Institute said Thursday.

The revised reading was little changed from the advance estimate of a 12% expansion reported at the end of October. Compared with the third quarter of 2019, economic activity was down 8.6%.

The increase in output snapped a string of five consecutive quarters of economic contraction.

Industrial production rose 21.7% from the second quarter, boosted by the reopening of key sectors like auto production and construction, which had been at a virtual standstill in April and May. Services grew 8.8% from the second quarter, and agricultural production was 8% higher.

Despite the quick recovery in the quarter, the economy remains on track for its deepest full-year contraction since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The Bank of Mexico said Wednesday that it now expects GDP to shrink 8.9% this year, when previously it had predicted a contraction between 8.8% and 12.8%. The central bank forecasts growth of 3.3% for 2021.

"This assumes a gradual recovery, with caution by consumers and investors because of the pandemic," analysts at Grupo Financiero Banorte said in a report.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

11-26-20 0808ET

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