CORRECTED-UPDATE 2-Strong service sector buoys Mexico growth in second quarter

jueves 20 de agosto de 2015 13:20 GYT

(Corrects 2nd paragraph to show growth in April-June period was compared to first quarter, not second)

MEXICO CITY Aug 20 (Reuters) - Mexican economic growth picked up in the second quarter as the services sector expanded at its fastest pace in a year, offsetting flat industrial output hit by wobbling exports and sinking oil production.

The economy expanded by 0.5 percent in the April-June period compared with the first quarter, just above expectations and the 0.4 percent rate in the first quarter, the national statistics agency said on Thursday.

Services picked up to 0.9 percent growth from 0.7 percent in the prior quarter, its fastest pace since the second quarter of 2014. But industrial production showed no growth, reflecting uneven exports to the United States.

Heavy spending by candidates and local governments ahead of elections in July likely boosted consumption during the quarter, economists said.

Marco Oviedo, an analyst at Barclays Capital in Mexico City, said services growth will likely flag after the election splurge.

"We are going to see a hangover in the second half of the year," he said. Consumer confidence slid in July by the most in three months.

Mexican industrial output, which includes factory and crude oil production, was flat in the second quarter compared with the previous quarter. Slowing production at state oil giant Pemex has weighed.

Mexican auto production and exports fell in July, in a sign of weakness at the start of the third quarter.   Continuación...