March 6, 2018 / 4:21 PM / 12 days ago

UPDATE 1-Mexican auto exports, output rose in February -AMIA

(Adds details on data, background)

By Sheky Espejo

MEXICO CITY, March 6 (Reuters) - Mexican auto exports rose 11.2 percent in February year on year, while production increased 6.2 percent, the country’s auto industry group, AMIA, said on Tuesday.

Mexico produced 328,352 units in February, up from the 309,234 during the same month in 2017. Exports reached 275,980 units, up 11.2 percent from last year.

Mexico is in the midst of fraught talks with the United States and Canada to rescue the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Discussions over so-called rules of origin in the auto sector are among the thorniest issues facing negotiators.

In the first two months of 2018, Mexico produced 632,107 vehicles, up 6.1 percent from the same two-month period in 2017, AMIA said.

However, February marked the eight consecutive month in which domestic auto sales fell.

A weak peso, driven in part by the election of U.S. President Donald Trump, has led to a rise in inflation, crimping consumer confidence and purchasing power.

After a series of rate increases to contain rising prices, the Banco de Mexico raised the key rate by another 25 basis points to 7.50 percent on Feb. 8, the highest since February 2009. (Reporting by Sheky Espejo; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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