Mexico‘s economy contracted by 0.5 percent in October from September in seasonally adjusted terms, marking a poor start to the fourth quarter after nine months of stagnation, according to figures released Tuesday by the country’s National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI).
The decline in economic output was the biggest since a 0.5 percent contraction in March and the third negative reading in four months, according to INEGI data.
“We started the quarter badly,” Jonathan Heath, one of the five board members of Mexico’s central bank, said on Twitter.
Mexico’s economy has struggled to gain traction under President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who took office in December 2018 pledging to ramp up growth to four percent per year.
Instead, the economy has been flat this year, slipping into a mild recession in the first half of 2019.
A breakdown of the data showed that primary activities, including agriculture, declined by 1.6 percent during October from the previous month, while secondary activities, such as manufacturing, slipped by 1.1 percent. Tertiary activities, which include retail and services, declined by 0.1 percent.
Summing up the latest data, Heath said manufacturing output looked stagnant while construction was going through a “crisis”.
Compared with the same month a year earlier, figures showed economic activity in Mexico, which is Latin America‘s second-largest economy, shrank by 0.8 percent in unadjusted terms in October.