MEXICO CITY, May 2 (Reuters) - Mexico’s manufacturing sector sentiment picked up slightly in April off a five month low, a survey showed on Friday, but remained weak, underscoring tepid growth in Latin America’s no. 2 economy.
The HSBC Mexico Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 51.8 in April, after adjusting for seasonal variation, from 51.7 in March.
A reading above 50 signals expansion, while a lower reading points to contraction.
Output growth accelerated at its fastest pace since January, but a reading of new orders expansion was steady at March’s five-month low.
“This result suggests that the manufacturing sector will keep on growing, but probably at a slow pace,” said Sergio Martin, chief economist at HSBC in Mexico.
He added that the return to more normal levels of production in the U.S. after bad weather early this year may support Mexican manufacturing.
Data this week showed the pace of Mexican factory export growth slowed in March, pointing to a sluggish economic recovery.
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 Alexandra Alper)