(Bloomberg) — Mexico’s economy grew at the fastest pace in at least three decades in the third quarter, as a surge in manufacturing to meet U.S. demand helped claw back a portion of the output lost since last year.
rose 12.1% from the previous quarter, according to final data released by the national statistics institute Thursday. The expansion, the best in data going back to 1990, was slightly higher than the 12% growth both estimated by economists in a Bloomberg survey and also recorded in preliminary data published last month.
On an annual, non-seasonally adjusted basis, GDP plunged 8.6% in the third quarter, matching the median estimate among analysts surveyed by Bloomberg and also last month’s preliminary report.
Industrial sectors, including mining, construction and manufacturing, are driving the nascent recovery, growing 21.7% compared to the prior quarter, while agriculture, livestock and fishing sectors expanded 8%. Service activities including commerce, transportation, financial and media gained 8.8% from the previous three months.
But by most accounts, the record surge won’t last. Analysts polled by Bloomberg predict growth will slow to 0.9% in the fourth quarter, with the economy shrinking 9.2% overall in 2020 — its worst year since the Great Depression.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has rebuffed economists’ calls for bigger government spending amid the coronavirus outbreak similar to other large countries, arguing that a lighter debt load will make it easier for Mexico to rebound.
The percentage of workers living in poverty has grown from 35.7% at the start of the year to 44.5% in the third quarter.
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