The Mexican economy registered growth of 0.4% between January and March this year compared to the previous quarter, with figures adjusted for seasonality, according to an estimate by the national statistics agency Inegi.
Mexico will have seen six consecutive quarters of contraction and a 2.9% contraction over the past year if the projection is confirmed in final GDP data, scheduled to be released on May 26.
Inegi’s estimate exceeds a Reuters forecast, which predicted zero quarterly growth and a 3.5% annual decline in gross domestic product.
Detailed information from Inegi shows that GDP performance was supported in the first quarter by tertiary activities in the services sector.
The director of Banco Base, Gabriela Siller, highlighted on Twitter that the accumulation of six consecutive quarters of negative growth is something not seen since the third quarter of 1982.
Chief economist for Latin America at Credit Suisse, Alonso Cervera, also expressed concern. “It’s worrying that industrial GDP in Mexico has not grown when consumption in the United States grew more than 10%,” he said.
President of Inegi, Julio Santaella, said the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic slowed the economy’s recovery during the first quarter. Last year, due to restrictions, the economy suffered its worst performance since the Great Depression.
Responding to the growth report, President López Obrador expressed confidence Friday morning that 2021 growth would fall between 5% and 6%, which is only slightly higher than most analysts are predicting.