MEXICO CITY, April 1 (Reuters) - Mexico's manufacturing sector sentiment declined in March for the second month in a row, a survey showed on Tuesday, but the index still pointed to growth.
The HSBC Mexico Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index cooled to 51.7 in March, after adjusting for seasonal variation, from 52.0 in February. The index hit a one-year high in January of 54.0.
A reading above 50 signals expansion, while a lower reading points to contraction. The February reading was the lowest since last October.
Readings of both new orders and output posted weaker rates of expansion.
"This result suggests that the manufacturing sector will keep on growing, but probably at a slower pace," said Sergio Martin, chief economist at HSBC in Mexico.
Data last week showed Mexican factory exports rebounded in February by the most in over four years as auto shipments surged.
Most of Mexico's exports are manufactured goods, and nearly 80 percent of them are sent to the United States.
The PMI index, compiled by Markit, is composed of five sub-indices tracking changes in new orders, output, employment, suppliers' delivery times and stocks of raw materials and finished goods. (Reporting by Michael O'Boyle; Editing by Bernard Orr)