Mexico Trade Surplus Narrows as Imports for Production Increase

Mexico’s trade surplus narrowed more than analysts expected in May, with imports of materials for production picking up as the economy recovers.

The surplus was $131.8 million, the national statistics agency said today on its website, compared with $509.6 million in April and the $426 million median forecast of 14 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Imports increased 2.8 percent from the year earlier, after dropping 1.5 percent in May, led by materials for production, such as auto parts and steel plates.

Mexico’s economy is starting to show signs of rebounding after growth missed analyst forecasts in seven of the past eight quarters. The expansion in Latin America’s second-largest economy probably accelerated this quarter and will improve in the second half of the year amid a rebound in the U.S., the buyer of about 80 percent of Mexico’s exports, Finance Minister Luis Videgaray said yesterday.

“We’re comfortable and happy with the number in terms of the recovery,” Gabriel Lozano, chief Mexico economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co., who had forecast imports to increase 0.7 percent, said in a phone interview from Mexico City. “We need to see that this is broad-based on the import side.”

Exports increased 4.7 percent in May from a year earlier, compared with 4.1 percent growth in April, the statistics agency said.

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