* Economy grows 0.34 pct vs March, poll saw 0.31 pct
* Growth at 4.68 pct vs April 2011, poll saw 4.22 pct
MEXICO CITY, June 26 Mexico's economy cooled in
April compared to March amid a global slowdown but continued
growth backs expectations that policymakers will leave interest
rates on hold this year.
Mexico's economy grew 0.34 percent in April from March
, the national statistics agency said on Tuesday.
That was just above a 0.31 percent expected in a Reuters poll
but slower than the 1.94 percent expansion seen in March, which
was revised down from a 1.96 percent pace initially reported.
The country's services sector grew 0.73 percent in April
over March, industry grew 0.65 percent while agricultural
activity fell 3.44 percent.
Slowing job growth in the United States could crimp the
demand for Mexican exports going forward, but Mexico's central
bank chief said last week the economy could still grow nearly 4
percent this year if the U.S. growth holds up.
Policymakers are seen holding the country's benchmark rate
steady at 4.50 percent into 2014.
"The solid expansion of the real business cycle reduces the
need for near-term monetary stimulus," Goldman Sachs economist
Alberto Ramos said in a note to clients.
"However, the recent sluggish performance of the U.S.
economy and unsettled global backdrop may lead to some
moderation of domestic and external demand in the months ahead,"
Mexico's annual inflation rate in early June hit a 1-1/2
year high and policymakers are concerned that consumer prices
could be pushed higher due to a sharp slump in the peso.
The currency recently hit a three-year low due to rising
fears that Europe's debt troubles could drag further on slowing
Still, Ramos said the risks to the global economy made an
interest rate cut more likely down the road than a rate hike.
The economy expanded 4.68 percent from April of
2011, faster than the 4.22 percent expected in a
Reuters poll and compared to a downwardly revised 3.47 annual
rate in March from the 3.59 percent rate first reported.