(Adds background, detail on manufacturing, mining)
MEXICO CITY, May 12 (Reuters) - Mexican industrial production fell in March for the first time in three months as mining and manufacturing output sank, suggesting a still faltering recovery in Latin America’s No. 2 economy.
March industrial activity fell 0.13 percent compared with February, the national statistics agency said on Monday, below expectations for a 0.30 percent increase and the 0.29 percent expansion in February.
Analysts have scaled back growth estimates for the year after a weak start to 2014, and expect an expansion of about 3.01 percent.
Growth sank to a four-year low of 1.1 percent last year.
Factory output, a component of industrial production, fell 0.34 percent in March compared with the prior month.
Mexico exports mostly manufactured goods and sends nearly 80 percent of its exports to the United States.
Mexico’s manufacturing sector sentiment picked up slightly in April off a five month low, a survey showed earlier this month, but remained weak, underscoring tepid growth.
The construction industry, which contracted sharply last year, picked up by 0.05 percent compared to February, although mining dipped 0.48 percent in the same period.
Industrial output rose 3.4 percent in March from a year earlier, compared to expectations for a 3.65 percent increase and the downwardly revised 0.5 percent in February.
For a graphic on Mexico industrial production: link.reuters.com/kat96s (Reporting By Alexandra Alper; Editing by Sofina Mirza-Reid)