Mexico factory exports slide, jobless rate hits seven-year low

MEXICO CITY: Mexico’s factory-made exports slumped in November by the most in three months but the jobless rate fell to a seven year low, painting a mixed picture for growth in Latin America’s second largest economy.

Manufactured exports were down 3.5 percent in November compared with October in seasonally adjusted terms, its biggest drop since August, the national statistics agency said on Thursday.

Auto exports fell 1.9 percent while other factory exports slumped by 4.3 percent, the data showed. Mexico exports mostly manufactured goods like cars and televisions and nearly 80 percent are sent to the United States. The data showed non-oil consumer imports also slid by 1.4 percent November from October, its biggest dip since July, in a sign of flagging domestic demand.

Rising retail sales helped growth in the third quarter, when Mexico’s economy grew at its fastest pace in two years. But Mexico’s peso has lost more than 16 percent against the dollar this year, making US imports more expensive for Mexican consumers. Industrial output rebounded in the quarter following a slump in oil output and weak exports in the first half of the year.

Mexico posted a $1378 million trade deficit in November when adjusted for seasonal swings. In non-seasonally adjusted terms, Mexico posted a trade deficit of $1569 million.

A separate report showed Mexico’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate eased in November to its lowest since October, 2008. In unadjusted terms the unemployment rate fell to 3.96 percent.

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