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Mexico 2011 Foreign Direct Investment Totals $19.4 Billion

Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Mexico received $19.4 billion of foreign direct investment in 2011, according to preliminary figures from the Economy Ministry, which said the total will probably be revised higher.

The figure is 4 percent less than the $20.2 billion registered in 2010, which in turn was revised up from the preliminary count of $17.7 billion.

“Following historic patterns on revised figures, 2011’s number will surpass the revised amount of 2010,” the ministry said in a statement on its website today.

The 2011 investment data remained below the pre-crisis average of $24.2 billion from 2004 through 2008, due mainly to slower growth in the U.S., said Alejandro Cervantes, an economist at Grupo Financiero Banorte-Ixe in Mexico City. A crackdown on drug cartels, which has cost more than 45,000 lives since December 2006, may also have damped investment.

“You don’t want to invest in Mexico if its main trading partner hasn’t recovered completely,” Cervantes said. “The problem of public security may have also limited inflows into Mexico.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Nacha Cattan in Mexico City at ncattan@bloomberg.net.

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

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