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Mexico May Raise 2011 Growth Estimate, Cordero Says

Jan. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Mexico expects to raise its economic growth estimate for 2011 from the current forecast of 3.9 percent as U.S. industrial production and internal demand improve, Finance Minister Ernesto Cordero said.

“We’re starting with 3.9 percent as our forecast,” Cordero told reporters today in Mexico City. “In the first weeks of January and February, we’ll look at the forecast, and we’ll review whether a revision is necessary. I hope we’ll be revising it higher.”

Mexican policy makers are seeking to build on last year’s recovery from the nation’s worst recession since 1932. The economy probably expanded more than 5 percent in 2010, Cordero said today, higher than the government’s October forecast of 4.8 percent.

Economists at JPMorgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley raised their forecasts last month for Mexico’s growth in 2011. The economy will expand 3.7 percent this year after growth of 5.1 percent in 2010, according to the median estimate from 13 economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

Mexico’s consumer confidence index fell to 88.5 in November from 89.2 the previous month, according to the national statistics agency. The index rose to a two-year high of 91.6 in September.

Industrial production in the U.S., the market for 80 percent of Mexico’s exports, rose 0.4 percent in November, the biggest gain since July, according to the Labor Department.

Mexico’s economy created 730,348 jobs in 2010, Cordero said. “Substantially” more jobs can be generated this year if Congress passes labor reform, Labor Minister Javier Lozano said.

The peso fell 0.2 percent to 12.2659 per dollar at 12:40 p.m. New York time from 12.2488 yesterday.

To contact the reporters on this story: Carlos Manuel Rodriguez in Mexico City at carlosmr@bloomberg.net; Crayton Harrison in Mexico City at tharrison5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Joshua Goodman at jgoodman19@bloomberg.net

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