May 23, 2018 / 8:40 PM / in 3 months

UPDATE 1-Mexico economy picks up in Q1, tracking preliminary data

 (Adds details on components of gross domestic product data,
analyst)
    MEXICO CITY, May 23 (Reuters) - Mexico's economy picked up
speed in the first quarter, official data showed on Wednesday,
driven by robust service-sector activity and solid advances in
manufacturing and agriculture.
    Latin America's second biggest economy grew 1.1 percent in
seasonally adjusted terms compared with the previous three-month
period, the national statistics agency said. The data was in
line with preliminary figures released last month.             
    That was an acceleration from the fourth quarter last year,
when the economy grew 0.9 percent, the agency said.
    A breakdown of the seasonally adjusted data showed the
industrial sector grew 0.9 percent in the first quarter compared
with the October-December period, while agriculture advanced 0.9
percent and services expanded 1.1 percent.
    Analysts at Banorte said in a note that falling inflation
could help boost consumer spending in the second quarter, while
construction could get a jolt from a flurry of building projects
by local governments before national elections in July.
    Among risks, Goldman Sachs economist Alberto Ramos said in a
report that investments by businesses could be dampened by
uncertainty around the outcome of the July presidential vote as
well as concerns about the future of the NAFTA trade deal among
Mexico, the United States and Canada.
    U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to dump the North
American Free Trade Agreement if it cannot be renegotiated to
his liking and talks have been stalled over a series of U.S.
demands to impose tougher regional content requirements on the
auto industry.
    In annual terms, the economy expanded 1.3 percent compared
with a year earlier, just above preliminary estimates.


    

 (Reporting by Sharay Angulo and Michael O'Boyle; Editing by
Peter Cooney)
  
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