UPDATE 1-Mexico industrial production rises more than expected
* July industrial production rises 0.5 percent from June
* Production up 4.9 percent from year earlier
* Adds to recent run of positive 3rd-quarter data
MEXICO CITY, Sept 11 (Reuters) - Mexican industrial output rose more than expected in July, bolstering hope that Latin America's second-largest economy may withstand a soft patch in the United States.
Industrial production rose a seasonally adjusted 0.5 percent from June, the national statistics agency said on Tuesday, better than expected in a Reuters poll that saw a 0.3 percent rise. Production rose at its fastest in more than two years in June at an upwardly revised 1.5 percent month-on-month.
Growth was driven by the utilities sector, which rose 1.53 percent, although the manufacturing subcomponent rose just 0.45 percent in July from the previous month.
Economists said electricity consumption was an important leading indicator of growth and it was positive that manufacturing grew at all in the face of weakness in the United States, Mexico's main trading partner.
"This is good because the momentum is pretty good," said Nomura economist Benito Berber, adding that second-half growth might surprise on the upside.
U.S. jobs growth slowed sharply in August, setting the stage for the Federal Reserve to pump additional money into the sluggish economy as soon as this week.
Growth in Mexico eased in the second quarter but data so far for the third quarter has been positive, with exports increasing and the jobless rate falling.
Compared with July 2011, industrial output rose 4.9 percent, above an expected 3.9 percent increase and compared to an upwardly revised 3.8 percent rate in June.
Mexico's central bank said on Friday it may raise interest rates from the current 4.5 percent after inflation rose to its highest in more than two years, although investors are pricing in no change to rates before April 2014 at the earliest.
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