Mexico says economy to grow 3.5-4.0 pct in 2012 and 2013
* Forecast assumes no external shock
* Finance minister makes first official 2013 forecast
MEXICO CITY, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Mexico's finance minister predicted on Wednesday growth of between 3.5 percent and 4 percent for Latin America's second-largest economy both this year and next, as long as there are no severe setbacks in the global economy.
"This year, Mexico has had a favorable economic performance and, as long as there are no extreme scenarios internationally, it is expected to maintain growth of between 3.5 percent and 4 percent in 2012 and 2013," Finance Minister Jose Antonio Meade said.
The outlook maintains the government's previous estimates for this year and marks the first official forecast for 2013.
The majority of analysts expect growth to be closer to 4 percent this year.
The economy lost momentum in the second quarter as consumers in the United States, by far the country's biggest export market, cut back their spending. Growth eased to 4.1 percent in the second quarter versus a year earlier, from a 4.5 percent expansion in the first quarter. [ID: nL4E8JG32M]
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