Mexico preliminary 1st-qtr foreign direct investment $5.8 bln

miércoles 21 de mayo de 2014 18:36 GYT

MEXICO CITY May 21 (Reuters) - Mexico drew $5.82 billion in foreign direct investment in the first quarter, according to preliminary data from the Economy Ministry.

The figure was 17 percent higher than the preliminary result for the first quarter of 2013, the ministry said on Wednesday. But it was down 20 percent from the final $7.28 billion recorded in the same period last year, according to data on the Economy Ministry's website.

Investors have been attracted to Mexico since President Enrique Pena Nieto pushed a slew of economic reforms through Congress last year in industries ranging from telecoms to energy.

Just under a third of the money poured into Latin America's No. 2 economy was new investment, with 61 percent from reinvested profits of foreign companies operating here. Manufacturing, a key sector for the economy, accounted for 43 percent of the total.

The United States invested the lion's share of the total at 47 percent, followed by Spain with 34 percent and the Netherlands, Germany and Japan.

Mexico's central bank slashed the country's growth forecast on Wednesday from 3 to 4 percent to 2.3 to 3.3 percent after a sluggish first quarter, though policymakers say a recovery is gathering steam. (Reporting by Christine Murray and Alexandra Alper; Editing by Dan Grebler)