(Recasts lead, adds economist's comments, background)
MEXICO CITY, May 12 Mexican industrial output
was flat in March compared to February in seasonally
adjusted terms as an increase in mining and utilities production
was offset by a drop in manufacturing and construction, the
national statistics agency said on Friday.
That was slightly below expectations for 0.05 percent
U.S. President Donald Trump's surprise election in November
raised the specter of recession in Mexico after his threats to
shred the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), a
lynchpin of Latin America's second-largest economy.
Despite the economic headwinds, Mexico's economy has
performed better than expected, leading private sector analysts
to upgrade their growth expectations.
"Mexican industrial production continued to broadly stagnate
in March, but this is still far from the collapse that the
survey data are pointing to," said Adam Collins, Latin America
economist at Capital Economics.
"Indeed, if anything, today's data suggest that the robust
provisional estimate of Q1 GDP growth might be revised up
slightly in the final estimate released later this month,"
Mexico's gross domestic product grew about 0.6 percent in
the first quarter of 2017 from the fourth quarter, while GDP
notched a 2.7 percent rate compared with the same quarter in
2016, according to seasonally adjusted data from Mexico's
Compared to a year ago, industrial output jumped
3.4 percent, the fastest pace of growth in at least 27 months,
according to the Inegi statistics agency.
Mexico sends mostly factory-made goods like televisions and
cars to its northern neighbor the United States.
(Reporting by Anthony Esposito; Editing by Andrea Ricci)