UPDATE 1-Mexico industrial output shrinks on unexpected factory slump

miércoles 11 de febrero de 2015 10:43 GYT

(Recasts with drop in factory output, adds details on components)

MEXICO CITY Feb 11 (Reuters) - Mexican industrial production shrank unexpectedly in December as Latin America's No. 2 economy was hit by the biggest monthly contraction in the manufacturing sector in more than two years and oil production slumped.

Industrial output fell 0.3 percent in December from November, the national statistics agency said on Wednesday. November output rose an upwardly revised 0.3 percent from the month before. A Reuters poll had forecast a 0.3 percent expansion in December.

Factory production, a component of industrial output, sank 1.6 percent in December from November, the biggest month-on-month drop since October 2012.

Mexico sends nearly 80 percent of its exports, which are mostly factory goods, to the United States. Strength in factory output last year had helped offset sluggish domestic demand.

Mining, which includes oil production by state-run company Pemex, shrank 0.8 in December on a monthly basis, contracting for the fourth month in a row as oil output fell.

The component measuring construction rose just over 1 percent in December from the month before.

Compared with a year earlier, industrial output rose 3 percent in December and in November it increased by an upwardly revised 1.9 percent. The Reuters poll had forecast a 2.8 percent rise in December.

Analysts polled by Banamex last week expected Mexico's economy to pick up and grow by about 3.3 percent this year, compared with an estimated 2.1 percent expansion in 2014. (Reporting by Michael O'Boyle; Editing by Peter Galloway)