UPDATE 2-Mexico factory exports, consumer imports slip in January

miércoles 26 de febrero de 2014 12:41 GYT

MEXICO CITY Feb 26 (Reuters) - Mexican factory exports fell in January for the fifth month in a row, while non-oil consumer imports also dipped, signaling further headwinds for a tepid economic recovery in Latin America's No. 2 economy.

Non-oil manufactured exports fell 1.78 percent in January compared with December, the national statistics agency said on Wednesday, signaling slack demand from the United States for local goods.

Most of Mexico's exports are manufactured goods, and nearly 80 percent of them are sent to its northern neighbor, the United States. Stronger exports in the second half of last year had helped the economy climb back from a contraction in the second quarter.

Data last week showed Mexico's economy slowed sharply in the fourth quarter as industry ground to a halt and the pace of services growth dropped, dragging annual growth to a four-year low and clouding hopes for a robust recovery this year.

Non-oil consumer imports fell 0.63 percent in January, the fourth contraction in a row, raising fresh concern about the spending appetite of Mexican shoppers.

Separate data on Tuesday showed Mexican retail sales adjusted for seasonal swings slipped by the most in a year in December.

Mexico posted a $2.221 billion trade deficit in January when adjusted for seasonal swings. In non-seasonally adjusted terms, Mexico posted a trade deficit of $3.195 billion.